This past week CNN’s anchorman Chris Cuomo got into a bit of a dustup with Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore over the legal definition of marriage. Cuomo, being an advocate of same-sex unions, was exasperated with the judge’s decision to enforce Alabama’s existing law and, thereby, deny marriage licenses to anyone in the Cotton State other than a human couple comprised of one adult male and one adult female. Judge Moore defended his ruling by referencing “organic law” and, thus, stating that the seminal premise for individual rights in the United States finds its origin ultimately in God (not Congress or the courts) and that he, therefore, had no prerogative to change said rights and/or laws. Cuomo responded, “Our rights do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man… Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.”
At the risk of sounding a bit pedantic, I simply must ask: When Mr. Cuomo attended Fordham and Yale Universities what in the world did he study? Did he ever enroll in a class on basic U.S. history? Was he ever required to read any of the influential documents pertinent to the founding of our Country?
Did Mr. Cuomo ever read the North West Ordinance, which plainly states that “religion [and] morality…[are] necessary to good government”?
Did he ever study the Declaration of Independence and its simple and clear text declaring that all people enjoy a “separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle [them]” and that all men are created equal and “endowed by [their] Creator with certain unalienable rights”?
How about the writings of John Quincy Adams? Is Mr. Cuomo aware that this founding father said, “The Laws of Nature are … identical with the laws of nature’s God, and [are] the foundation of all… human laws”?
Or what of the counsel of our second president, John Adams who said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”?
How about the father of our country and first president? Is Chris Cuomo aware of George Washington’s words: “Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice”?
Finally, even if his Ivy League education didn’t provide Mr. Cuomo with any knowledge of the above, surely he was taught to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. who stated in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail, “A just law is [one] that squares with the moral law or the law of God”?
For Mr. Cuomo to contend our laws don’t come from God is either astonishingly ignorant or frighteningly arrogant and, frankly, I am not sure which it is. One can disagree with the legal philosophy clearly stated in our country’s founding documents and, likewise, explicit in the words of our founding fathers and subsequent civil rights leaders, but to deny their existence simply breaks all rules of credibility.
Finally, lest we ignore Mr. Cuomo’s closing salvo to Judge Moore, whereby he claimed, “Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise” – Let us pray this is not so. “Collective agreement “ as a premise for law always devolves to power rather than the people. If you want proof just turn back the clock a bit. In 1975 the Oklahoma state legislature passed a statue declaring marriage to be between one man and one woman. In 1996 Oklahoma passed it’s own defense of marriage act and in 2004 approximately 76% of the people of Oklahoma voted for a given definition of marriage. But in 2014, this “collective agreement” was struck down by one person who fancied himself to be above the people and above God and the sole arbiter of “compromise.” This is not rule by democracy but rather rule by a despot – not by the people, but rather by a potentate. Take God out of the argument and the vacuum will be filled. If our rights are not “endowed to us by our Creator” they can and will be taken away by the courts and a king.
“When you break the big laws you do not get freedom. You do not even get anarchy. You get [thousands of] small laws.” G.K. Chesterton.
The CNN exchange can be found here
Talking Points With President Piper is a weekly column featured in the Examiner-Enterprise newspaper. In addition to serving as the Oklahoma Wesleyan President, Dr. Everett Piper is also a frequent guest commentator on a variety of talk radio programs across the nation, as well as a published author and essayist.