Wed | Nov 29, 2023

Letter of the Day | Should morality be legislated?

Published:Monday | June 27, 2022 | 12:06 AM


There is one philosophy we can all be united on and that is, the United States will never be united. Last Friday’s ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States has further polarised an already-fragile nation. This is a nation divided along race, colour, religion, economics and political persuasion. There are leftists, others who are rightists, and still others who are centrists. So many sociological terms are thrown around in the society. We have liberals, radicals, conservatives, moderates, nationalists, and other subgroups. The constitution seeks to protect all these groups, but, alas, there are notes of discord, frustration and bewilderment for rolling back a law almost half a century old.

In the ruling by the Supreme Court on Roe v Wade, there are no winners and no losers. It is sad that the highest court of the land has become a political playing field tainted by political ideologies. The big question I am seeking an answer for is whether governments should be legislating morality. Already, Justice Clarence Thomas is explicitly calling on his colleagues to put the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage, gay sex and even contraception cases on the table.

I concur with President Biden, who said, “This is an extreme and dangerous path the court is now taking us on. America is too polarised and there is going to be bedlam in ‘the land of the brave and the free’.”

As I peer through my apocalyptic lenses, I see trouble ahead for church-state relationship. This move might very well be a casting of the foundation stone for the enactment of a ‘national Sunday law’, when people/Christians will not be able to worship according to the dictates of their conscience, but will have to abide by the laws of the Supreme Court, which may give no option for religious choices.

I hope that before some Christians begin to join the fanfare, they will sober up and consider the implications of the court’s decision and its implication for religious liberty. While I am not a supporter of abortion as a birth-control method or gender selection, I believe the court has overstepped its boundaries. The power of choice should not be legislated. We are free moral agents endowed with the power of choice to think and to act. This was endowed by the Supreme God, not the Supreme Court.

Last week’s ruling betrays this fundamental principle and stifles democracy. We may do well to listen to Martin Luther King Jr talking to us and reminding us that “morality cannot be legislated, but behaviour can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can change the heartless.”

The Supreme Court has really erred. The politically influenced members of the judiciary should abort their lifelong tenure on the bench in the interest of justice and fair play.