sententiarum collectio

Month: March 2018

The Man in the Arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Teddy Roosevelt: Citizenship in a Republic
“The Man In The Arena”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, France
April 23, 1910

Religious Basis of Obergefell

“Religious conviction is the most personal, intimate, and fundamentally existential personal belief. Casey and Lawrence were premised on the right to be left alone: in Casey, the right of the mother to be left alone by the father of the child in her womb,31 and in Lawrence, the right of consenting homosexuals to be left alone from governmental intrusion while they have sex.32 Obergefell went further, mandating that government sanction the private choice of same sex couples to enter into a marital union.33 In other words, Obergefell implicitly establishes that constitutionally protected liberty mandates state action to validate and preserve autonomous choices rooted in individual belief. Unless the Court embraces the indefensible and dehumanizing view that sexual activity, either solely or preeminently, implicates the mysteries of life, it cannot logically harmonize attacks on traditional religious expression with the right to autonomous liberty established by the mystery passage34  and its progeny, including Obergefell.

Michael V. Hernandez, In Defense of Pluralism: Religiously Affiliated Law Schools, Olympianism, and Christophobia, 48 U. Tol. L. Rev. 283, 288-89 (2017).

31 Planned Parenthood of Se. Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851 (1992).

32 Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 578 (2003).

33 Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584, 2607-08 (2015).

34 In his dissent to Lawrence, J. Scalia referred back to a passage of dicta from Casey as “sweet-mystery-of-life”, in which the majority wrote: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life”

Reason Unfettered by Contrary Feelings

“[Integrity] bids us to act on what the Aristotelian tradition has long called right reason: on reason unfettered by contrary feelings; on our rational appreciation of basic goods, undistorted by partiality or hostility that would blind us to some of the people or goods before us. Thus, morality rules out invidious discrimination, or callousness toward the goods of some. And it rules out trampling some basic goods on our way to others – or more precisely, intending harm to someone’s most basic interests as a means to other benefits. This explains how there can be absolute rights, such as those against torture or intentional killing of the innocent.”

John Corvino, Ryan T. Anderson, and Sherif Girgis, Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination

Zealous Advocacy

“[A]n advocate, in the discharge of his duty, knows but one person in all the world, and that person is his client. To save that client by all means and expedients, and at all hazards and costs to other persons, and, amongst them, to himself, is his first and only duty; and in performing this duty he must not regard the alarm, the torments, the destruction which he may bring upon others. Separating the duty of a patriot from that of an advocate, he must go on reckless of the consequences, though it should be his unhappy fate to involve his country in confusion.”

Lord Brougham, The Trial of Queen Caroline (2 Trial of Queen Caroline 8)

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