I wish I had time to think through and write a post or three on some recent Federal court cases. But I only have time to make a quick note and raise a question.
First, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked a big chunk of Arizona's law that brought immigration enforcement to the local level.
Second, yesterday U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled California's marriage-defining amendment to their state constitution as unconstitutional.
Both these rulings are of interest to Catholics, and I would note that (despite the apparent difference in subject matter) both are interesting for the same reason. The reason is that they ultimately are about how the government upholds or denigrates the dignity of the human person.
This is even the apparent concern of the judges who made the rulings. However, this is where competing notions about the foundation of human dignity arise.
From a Catholic perspective, human dignity is based in the gift of being made in the image and likeness of God, and is augmented by God's call to communion with him in the life of his Son.
It's not at all clear to me what basis these judges have for their ideas of human dignity.
So here's my question: in a nation that A) treats illegal immigrants - and those who employ them - with horrendously inconsistent laws and enforcements, B) regards marriage as a merely contractual arrangement, D) promotes research on human embryos, having been convinced that they're merely "blobs of tissue", and C) is willing to torture both foreigners and its own citizens ... how can we present to our elected officials and to the public generally a clear and consistent idea of human dignity? How can we preach the Gospel in such a way that it falls not on deaf ears?
That's a real question, not a rhetorical one. I'm working on some bits of an answer, but I have other ducks to get into a row just now. Hopefully I'll be able to post a few more ideas soon.