Liberty and justice
To the editor: America’s Founding Fathers recognized that individuals, acting out of their own self-interests, could inflict damages and pain on a society’s majority. But they also recognized that the majority, acting as an undisciplined crowd, could tyrannize the individual.
The Constitution and the federal republic they fashioned for America provided protections for both possibilities. Departing Independence Hall in Philadelphia when the Constitutional Convention ended, Ben Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created.
His answer was: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Since the founding of America, most Americans have lived by the motto “live and let live.” As the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution promised, they have pursued happiness in their own distinct manner but understood that others had the right to their own destiny. When their views clashed, they expected and trusted the courts to settle their differences and they lived with the courts’ verdicts.
No matter your political leanings or your circumstances, please take the time to recognize that liberty and justice live side by side in America and how fortunate we are to have a republic that has maintained them for more than 200 years.
Al Mercer, Brevard
The Quantum State of Consent
Posted: 10 Feb 2018 04:34 PM PST
56% of younger millennials identify as Christian. 2% as Jewish or Muslim. 1% as Buddhist. And 36% as nothing. That's double the number that made up the "nones" among baby boomers. Being a "none" often means having no sense of purpose, except to seek personal happiness and make the world a better place by recycling, opposing Trump and calling out racism. It also means a moral code based on academic analysis of power relationships between races, genders and sexual orientations.
"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom," Benjamin Franklin cautioned more simply.
These aren't abstractions. Nor are they measured on some vast scale of civilizations. They define how we live our ordinary lives. They are why this debate is taking place.
Free people consent. But freedom comes from virtue. Freedom without virtue is anarchy. And anarchy ends in brutality and tyranny. That outcome isn't only expressed in riots in the streets. It emerges in smaller and more intimate matters, like the debate over consent.
Freedom of consent is failing. The left wants to replace it with brutality and tyranny. The brutality of online smear campaigns and the tyranny of campus kangaroo courts. But a secular right has no replacement for it either except the more libertarian brutality and tyranny of the individual.
What we forgot is that we don't truly have freedom of consent, until we have purpose.