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Friday, February 28, 2014

Arizona vs. Freedom in America, Inc.

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Most people believe we live in a democracy.  They were probably told this myth by a very sweet fourth grade teacher.  A democracy is when the laws are made by all of the citizens.  At certain points in its history, ancient Athens was a democracy.  The Athenian citizens (who were a small portion of the actual population) met together and made laws and voted to fill administrative offices.  At the federal level our law is made by 535 Congressmen and Senators and 1 president or by 9 Supreme Court justices.  At the state level, the laws are made by usually fewer than 100 state legislators and a governor and less than a dozen supreme court justices.  With a population of over 300 million such a number is nowhere close to all the citizens.  


Some people have slightly more knowledge of American history and government and they believe that we live in a republic.  A republic is a form of government where all the citizens can select some representatives to participate in the making of the nation’s laws.  The Roman republic made laws through the Senate which was comprised of patrician nobles representing the patrician class.  The rest of the citizens, the Plebians, were eventually granted the right to elect a Tribune who could stand outside the Senate and prevent laws he deemed contrary to the interests of the Plebians from being passed by the Senate. Thus, many people think we are a Republic because around half the citizens (for the past few decades) show up from time to timein order to choose among the limited options proposed by the two parties for one of the Congressmen, Senators, President, state legislator or governor positions.  


But these legislators, governors and presidents have become merely instruments to rubber stamp the law on behalf of the real rulers.  America is really ruled by an oligarchy which we can call American Inc.  An oligarchy is a government in which the wealthy class makes the laws.  The oligarchy decides what laws can exist and then the elected officials cast the ballots.  Those whose wealth dwarfs even the wealthiest individual are the national and transnational corporations awash in cash.  They can buy anything they want in government.  As Michael Sandel’srecent book, What Money Can’t Buy, points out, they can even buy a space in line to get into a Congressional hearing so they can make sure the people casting the votes see their masters.  


At the end of the last century Wall Street banks were actively trading in illegal contracts.  Credit Default Swaps were under the law of most states unenforceable, and in many states criminal, wagering contracts.  But trading them was producing huge bonuses on Wall Street.  Thus, after an intense and expensive lobbying campaign a bi-partisan Congress passed in a matter of days without debate the Commodity Futures and Modernization Act of 2000.  Among other things, this lawsummarily repealed the anti-wagering laws of every state as they applied to financial derivatives, thus erasing laws which had been on the books since before 1776.  The same law exempted these derivatives from almost all federal law as well, the securities laws and the commodity futures laws which would otherwise apply.  Thus, America Inc. bought a “get out of law” free card in their real life game of Monopoly.


When these same derivatives precipitated a massive financial crisis in 2008, a few people called for a law to restrain these instruments which even Warren Buffet called “weapons of financial mass destruction.”  By the time the bill made it to the Dodd-Frank Act it became a verbose show of sound and fury signifying practically nothing.  The get out of law free card of the 2000 law was confirmed for the financial derivatives that brought down the house of cards, again after an expensive lobbying effort.  Although a few light touch federal laws were reinstated (for show) the law affirmed the complete eradication of all state criminal and contract law that otherwise would prohibit these deadly wagers.  


When America Inc.’s right to buy laws by buying candidates for office was threatened by laws which restrained a corporation’s ability to give money to politicians, the Supreme Court stepped up to defend America Inc. by declaring the constitutional right of every corporation to spend its billions on buying candidates in the Citizens United case.


Most people remain blithely unaware of the oligarchical power of America Inc.  The payments and influence happen in halls of Congress, country clubs, luxury resorts and corporate offices out of the public view.  Yet, every now and again America Inc.comes out into the open to flex its muscle when its liberalagenda might be in the slightest way hindered.  The financial oligarchs who have decided that acts contrary to nature must not only be legalized but rammed down everyone’s throats until all that anyone can gurgle out is “we love and support sexual perversity  . . . ugh I mean diversity.”  Arizona, most likely unwittingly, recently came close to defyingthe agenda of America Inc. and passed a simple law.  Actually it was not even a new law.  It was an amendment of a handful of words in an existing law which up until now hardly anyone opposed.  The original law made clear that in a lawsuit involving the government in which the issue at stake was the action or inaction of a person, that person could defend his action or inaction on the grounds that the action was required or prohibited by a religious belief.  


Arizona Senate Bill 1062merely added that such a defense could be used in any suit, not just one involving the government.  Notwithstanding the propaganda run on America Inc.’s “state media” (the television networks), the bill does not mention or refer to the new legal cover for acts against nature, homosexual “marraige.  It was not a law that denied any public standing or benefit to any person.  It did not attempt to resurrect the thousands of years of criminal laws against the acts engaged in by people in these so called“unions.”  It did not say anyone could put a sign saying “No gays allowed” (as wrongly alleged on America Inc.’s state media).  


All it said is that nobody could be sued for not doing something (like playing music during a gay “marriage” ceremony) if doing so would violate their religious belief.  The law did not say that a waiter in a restaurant could refuse to serve a person who is known to engage in such acts.  As far as I know there is no religion that claims that serving food to someone to eat is against their religion.  But actively participating in a publicceremony celebrating acts that are intrinsically evil as defined by Catholic dogma would violate a person’s religiousobligations.  


Likewise, if a pagan asked a sculptor to carve an idol of Molloch to be used in pagan idolatry the sculptor could defend against a law suit for refusing to do so because making an idol for false worship would be facilitating directly the sin of idolatry.  All the proposed law was meant to do was confirm that not only the government but everyone else cannot use the power of the courts to force or punish someone for acting consistently with religious doctrine.  In other words, it prohibits persecution on the basis of religion.  But America Inc.’s so-called freedom of religion does not include freedom from persecution for acting consistently with religious obligations.  


The Arizona state legislature thus passed SB 1062, a fact which should be completely non-controversial in a nation that purports to have a Constitution that guarantees the free exercise of religion.  All that was needed for the bill to be a law was the signature of the governor who was of the same party as the majority in both houses of the state legislature that passed it.  But after the bill passed the legislature of Arizona, America Inc.decided to exercise its veto so as to capitalize on the event to push its agenda one more step beyond granting the legal status of marriage to two people who are not married to forcingeveryone to participate in such ceremonies.  For the CNN cameras a group of people held showed up to hold signs outside of the governor’s mansion.  


This was not the real muscle of America Inc. but only for show.  Protestors holding signs arealways a fixture in such places.  This small group hardly moved the governor to veto a bill her party supported.  What moved her was the threat of America Inc. to excommunicate Arizona fromthe America Inc. monopoly on the entire economy.  DefyAmerica Inc. and you will pay with jobs and income.  AT&T, Delta, American Airlines, Apple Computer, the NFL SuperbowlCommittee, Major League Baseball, the list goes on and on, made perfectly clear to the governor with overt and not so subtle threats that Arizona would suffer economically if the bill became law.  Who is the first to lose their jobs when the economy declines?  Politicians do.  


For example here is the threat of American Airlines oligarch:


American Airlines Group Inc. CEO Doug Parker joined that opposition late Monday. In a letter to Brewer, Parker said American Airlines’ significant presence in Arizona hinges on a strong economy and travel market. American merged with Tempe-based US Airways Group Inc. in December. Parker said SB 1062 could undo Arizona’s post-recession economic gains and hurt the state’s business image.


America Inc. ruthlessly keeps its own house in order.  Smaller members of the syndicate ofoligarchs controlling America Inc.are kept in line at the price of economic exile.  According to the Phoenix Business Journal,CathiHerrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, “said there are business owners who support SB 1062 who are worried about government intrusions against religious liberty, but they won’t speak out because of the vocal opposition. . . . ‘What business owner wants to go through thepersonal and vitriolic attacks,’ said Herrod, who added she’s been the subject of vulgar and personal attacks from SB 1062 critics.  Such is life in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave under the rule of America Inc.


A statement by Delta bluntly threatened: If passed into law, these proposals would cause significant harm to many people and will result in job losses.


According to another report: “As Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer prepared to make a career-defining decision . . . a letter arrived at her office early this week with a stern warning from some of the biggest names in the local business community.  Signed by the heads of four Arizona business consortiums, with board members including officers of Bank of America, Intel and the Arizona Cardinals football franchise, the letter urged Brewer to strike down the measure. . . .”


The Republican straw men leaders heard the threats loud and clear and piled on.  The “conservatives” Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and John McCain dutifully repeated the warnings of America Inc. just in case Governor Brewer didn’t get the message and told the governor to veto or face dire consequences.  


Clearly America Inc. is only interested in “freedom of religion” that involves the freedom to buy things used for approvedreligions.  But if religion requires one do more than look at the trinkets bought from America Inc., something that might slightly interfere with the agenda of America Inc., there is no freedom of religion.  Sadly the human element of the Church has decided to enter into a Faustian bargain with America Inc.  Possibly for an understandable motive of gaining freedom of action to remain Catholic, the human element of the Church agreed to submerge its traditional doctrine on the obligations of every person and society to acknowledge Christ the King and the corollary doctrine of religious tolerance and appear to support the French Revolution’s (France Inc.’s) Masonic inspired brand of religious indifferentism.  The bargain: sign on to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and you will be granted a place in the big tent of religious freedom.  This bargain was a sham however.  


The Church lowered her guard, obscured her teaching, for a mess of pottage.  What she received was on full display in Arizona.  It is a false religious freedom.  It is a freedom to do what the oligarchy allows.  Within this caged zoo, the Church is allowed to exercise her limited religious freedom.  As the successful threats (Governor Brewer vetoed SB 1062) on the Arizona governor show, America Inc. will dictate the terms of the religious freedom the human element in the Church tried to purchase with her silence and acquiescence.  If the Church attempted to repudiate this fraudulent bargain, the threats made to Arizona Governor Brewer would look like child’s play compared to the threats the Inc. syndicate around the world (led by America Inc.) would issue to the Vatican.  The recent threats and intimidation in the U.N. report issued to the Vatican would be nice and polite in comparison.  Such is freedom in the oligarchy of America Inc. Yet, our leaders should remember the consolation of the head of the Church:  Blessed are you who suffer persecution for justice sake for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven!   The Kingdom of Heaven is a much better place than the oligarchy of America Inc.

Last modified on Friday, February 28, 2014
Brian McCall | Remnant Columnist

 Brian M. McCall holds the Orpha and Maurice Merrill Endowed Professorship in
at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. A Professor of Law, he received his B.A. from Yale University, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1991He also received his M.A. from Kings College University of London, Fulbright Scholar, 1992 and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Summa Cum Laude, Order of the Coif, 1997.  Brian has been a regular contributor to The Remnant since 2004 and his most recent book, The Church and the Usurers, was published in 2012. Along with his wife and six young children, he lives in Oklahoma.