ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, DOCTOR OF THE NATURAL LAW
BANNER
by Pauly Fongemie
September 6, 2015


This is an update of sorts, although Mrs. Davis, a Kentucky county clerk remains in jail, where she says she is content and will remain, for she will not relent in her duty to uphold the natural and Divine law as willed by Jesus Christ.

For this she is to be highly thanked, for she has been given the grace of God to do so, thus He must be favoring her, unlike all the Catholic clerks entrusted with the same duty who have capitulated to Mammon, at least misunderstanding the law in all its context. It is truly amazing  to see a Protestant behave more Catholic than many a Catholic, because the mysterious grace of God is such, but not surprising, given our feckless bishops and confusion-crazed pontiff and the slow de-Catholicization of the Catholics in the pew through the debased modern Mass. Today's Catholic must fight for his faith, not just against the wiles of the devil outside the Church but in the Church which has largely abandoned its redoubt, Tradition. Enter Kim Davis, to light the path ahead. I am as certain as it is possible to be sure of things that God will reward the gallant Mrs. Davis with the true Faith and she will enter the Catholic Church through the portal of Holy Tradition, its safeguard. In every age there are such converts, despite particular periods of trial engendered by sin, laxity and pride, human elements present from the very beginning, but more pronounced in some eras than others.

One of the most glorious periods was the Thirteenth Century - the time of such doctors of the Church as St. Thomas Aquinas, who expounded on the Natural Law and our duties thereof.

God designed the natural law so that persons participate in God’s eternal law. As rational creatures we can determine and seek that which is good and avoid that which is evil or "that good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided." Every subsequent moral precept is based on this "first precept of natural law." The #1 mistake people make about natural law is that they assume that natural law is secular and non-religious. MRS. DAVISNot true, according to Saint Thomas Aquinas. Saint Thomas teaches that the virtue of religion, sacrifice, holidays, and even a natural priesthood pertains to the natural law. Moreover, avoiding idols and worshipping the Creator are derived precepts of the natural law.

The #2 mistake they make is that the natural law is for religious only. Natural law is common to all the nations. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist, animist … natural law applies to you, to everyone.

Thomas Aquinas teaches that a person can never erase natural law from his heart, but he can mitigate its force in his life. And even if a human person followed natural law perfectly, he would not attain to Heaven, because sanctifying grace is needed to enter the Beatific Vision (vision of God). So then, God gave “Divine Law” in the form of the Old Testament but perfectly in the New Testament. The New Law of the New Testament is really the Holy Spirit Who communicates mercy, grace, and love to our souls and body. Hence, the human person after Adam and Eve needs Divine Law to perfect what natural law cannot do.

While the natural law is a bit more complicated than seen at first blush, the important thing to grasp is that every single human person has the natural law in his very nature and that means that all human persons ought to be able to appeal to each other in the name of natural law.

Thus we have the Divine assurance that when we appeal to natural law we can do so by appealing to our common human nature and even natural science. "We can debate marriage by examining the natural end of male and female anatomy and the propagation of the human species. We can study DNA and human conception to make arguments about the dignity of human life and the morality of abortion and contraception. We can also argue about euthanasia by examining end-of-life vital signs observed through medical research." [Adapted from a Natural Law web site on St. Thomas]

All this can be done without recourse to the Bible or Tradition (Divine Law). Nevertheless, Thomas Aquinas would say that the only way to change the minds of a group of persons under Original Sin is to the bring them the healing grace of the New Law (New Testament in Christ). Under Original Sin alone, persons alone or as a society or nation will never naturally reason rightly. [Ibid.]

And this brings us to our continuation of THE WILL TO CRUSH, MARTYRDOM OF AMERICAN CHRISTIANS IN THE OPEN, Part 2.

There is a lot of chatter and natter in the media about Kim Davis and the Christian conscience, that she has no right to obstruct the law by her conscience alone. Of course, the very same folks have no problem with Martin Luther King, sanctuary cities and Obama's choice of what laws to enforce or not enforce, to ignore duly enacted laws of the United States, even to defy a federal judge regarding oil. Obama is not in jail and neither is the mayor of any sanctuary city; These so-called indignant, hypocritical folks are like this because they are squishy on the concept of law in general and the reality of the unjust law [Martin Luther King].

There are two kinds of unjust laws, those that have no bearing on the natural law which is above all human law, but are so defined that it is impossible to be obeyed without undue burden, and those that bear directly on the natural law and defy it; an example of the first would be a law dictating that every parent must pay for their children's college tuition or face a penalty. Now most parents, if they are able desire to help their children get a head in life, and sometimes this includes college tuition; other parents think that their children need to pay their own way as a part of maturation, as they did themselves; others, regardless, have no financial means and cannot afford the debt. Thus such a law, is unjust because it lays a heavy burden on those who can least afford it and may interfere with the parents' role of guiding their children into maturity.

An example of the latter would be a law that permits one to kill one's just born son because he has a debilitating illness that cannot be cured at the time. While caring for such a son is a heavy burden, all of the raising of children is fraught with sacrifice, and no one knows the amount at the birth of any child, who can become desperately ill later. And a cure can be forthcoming in the first case. Under the natural law, it is never permitted to kill the innocent even to save ourselves sacrifice and other burdens, because they are innocent in of themselves and have a right to life.

When faced with an unjust law, whatever its designation, one is charged with resisting, with the first kind, with much discretion and one even can be dispensed from protest as one is permitted to waive one's satisfaction for the sake of another good, spending the time caring for an elderly parent who is dying, for instance; and one can accept an unjust law for private reasons, provided that it is not also in conflict with the natural law, planted in the hearts of all men at their creation. Most people, by nature and daily duty are not prompted to go to jail to protest an unjust tax levy or zoning law, and they as individuals do not have to as this has nothing to do with the natural law.

With the natural law, one has a duty according to one's abilities to reject its violation by man-made law - in no way can the evil be supported and upheld. All men have a duty before Almighty God to resist its enactment, whether by court rule or actual legislation. Since the natural law applies to all, even those who profess no God, they still have a duty because the natural law is the foundation for all human law. Any human law at the very least must not contravene the natural law, such as the immorality and unnaturalness of sodomy, for example; a law on zoning as above does not apply.

Now the protest against Kim Davis et al is that they are obstructionists and cannot be given any leeway. Strictly speaking, in the narrow sense, this is certainly true and neither Kim Davis nor I claim otherwise. We value the law, in our hearts, in our minds, and in our persons and by our conduct with our neighbors.

We are not anarchists and in this we are very much like Martin Luther King who protested the unjust law of segregation and its related Jim Crow laws, which came under both designations. He did not expect to get off free, he was willing to pay the penalty under the law, because he did want law and order. But he had a conscience to observe and a just cause under the natural law - he was not merely trying to be a hero for the sake of being one, he was not an anarchist, but he had a duty and was in a position to do so, to protest an unjust law that was a blight on the nation. By being willing to submit to his jailors - he went without any weapon but the force of his personality and prayer - for the sake of not being an anarchist in order to to call attention to the unjust law, so unjust he was willing to go to jail for whatever time it took. And look what he accomplished! Thanks be to God!

This is what Kim Davis is doing - yes she is obstructing, because the first rule under the natural law is that no man-made law can violate the natural law - sodomy is verboten and an indignity against man's nature - and all men have a duty to obstruct it according to their place in life and abilities, to resist it, and work toward its overturn. But she also recognizes, in keeping with the principle of law itself, that no man is free to just run wild just because he does not like a law; he is not free to obstruct unless it is clearly unjust as in an undue burden as in the first designation or in contravention of the natural law itself. But to do this he must do so in a law-abiding manner, that is, one must undergo the penalty, which Kim Davis is doing admirably and even joyfully. Martin Luther King sang and in her own way, so is Mrs. Davis.

The fact that one is willing to pay the penalty tells society and the lawmaker, in this case, a singular judge, that the law or ruling, to be exact, is unjust and that she is calling attention to it. In any case she cannot violate her conscience which corresponds to the natural law. Often people have a deformed or warped or insufficiently informed conscience due to many factors and this occurs many times when a law is merely inconvenient; but this has nothing to do with the natural law. When a person's conscience is conformed to the natural law, which can be known by reason alone, although it needs the grace of God to be upheld thoroughly, that conscience is no way malformed.

A war may be unjust or just and protesters may be fully informed or not - this situation is not always so clear and must be left to the individual as best can be. But the vice of sodomy, for example, is not ambiguous, the principle against it is that it is always a grave offense under the natural law and no man is free to disregard it. Kim Davis and we who support her cause are not saying that we want all kinds of unenforceable anti-sodomy laws on the book or draconian methods, etc. What we are saying is that while the law may overlook personal sins in private, it must not approve of it officially. These are two different things.

Moreover, the state of Kentucky passed a marriage law of one man and one woman. As an elected official she is doing her best to observe that law, which is consonant with the natural law. No court, no judge has the authority or the right to overturn such a law and she is free to disregard it, in fact, it is imperative to her dignity, out of love for country and all persons created with dignity - a natural dignity enhanced by grace, to disregard such a law.

Ultimately, without the natural law, binding over all man-made law,  it is easy and likely, given Original Sin, that man who rashly disregards or refuses to recognize his duty under the natural law, descends into totalitarian and other inhuman methods of control.

If given the opportunity and permitted by this judge to do so, she would be handily re-elected! And she would be worthy of the citizens' trust!

Kim Davis is appealing to every one of us under the natural law itself and not in her own right or name.

Bravo for Kim Davis, with the heart of a lion and the soul of a saint! Would that more of us, Catholic, especially, were willing to follow her example!

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