Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Myth of Theory

Recently, the citizens of the United States received some dreadful news: the Honorable United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had been removed from this earth by the Supreme Judge of this world (see the Declaration of Independence). This is wonderful news in Heaven – I assume – but it is miserable news for those Americans left to suffer under the current president of the United States’ unconstitutional activities.

I am not about to eulogize this amazing jurist. People are engaged in this activity all over the globe, and I don’t see the need to add to this corpus. Instead, I want to remark on a peculiar label that has been attached to Scalia by the so-called media “intelligentsia”: Scalia – we are told with a straight face – was an “originalist theorist.” Forget the conservative / strict-constructionist title that this man embodied during the first part of his three decades on the Court. Now we have to use the word theory and the man’s name in the same sentence!

Allow me to explain why this terminology nauseates me, especially now that Justice Scalia is no longer here to defend himself.

In the World of Academia, theories are more highly prized than facts. As a young college student many years ago, I absorbed the Scientific Mantra: First come observations (also known as “facts”), then comes the assessment of those observations (also known as “deduction”), followed by the formulation of a Theory as to why the facts were observed in the first place. The objective of such activity, I was led to believe, was to ascertain and discover Truth.

No longer. Truth is out; theory – as some sort of end result – is in. Facts are useful only insofar as they support one’s current theory. Although some members of Academia still protest that they are striving to discover Truth, the vast majority of professors (especially in education) strive only to “discover” and postulate the Newest Theory. The possession of said Theory is readily transformed into prestige, through publication, lecture, or conference paper. Never mind that Dr. X’s Theory is virtually identical to Professor Y’s; if one can offer facts to support one’s Theory (always provided you can demonstrate the proper statistics), so much the better.

Why does this provoke such a visceral reaction in me?

The promulgation of this sort of idiocy is deliberate and destructive. At the same time the scientific / political world elevates Theory to the throne of the mind, it necessitates the DE-throning of truth. The two stances cannot occupy the same space (shades of physical certainties!).

Furthermore, the entire process suggests tyranny over the mind of humanity. In effect, this “theory” game excludes any speech (much less thought) that is not in line with this philosophy. Want to talk about God? Go sit in the time-out chair. Want to talk about the certainties of the Moral Law? Talk to the hand. Want to discuss what the American Founding Fathers actually had in mind when they penned our illustrious (and still viable) Constitution? What an idiot you are!

Let us return to Scalia. This man was famous – and rightly so – for saying to his colleagues when they tried to write laws: “You’re nuts!” (or words to that effect). He realized, early on in his career as a jurist, the fundamental truth (there’s that inconvenient word again!!) about the court – any court. It is this: a court is not empowered to make laws. Period. Its sole purpose and power is to judge whether or not an existing law has been broken.

The unfortunate precedent the Supreme Court invented in 1973 of “a woman’s right to choose” death over life sent a floodwater of raw, smelly Theory surging through the courts of America. Gone was the Truth that laws could be broken; in its place sat monster Theory, who has been a relentless foe of stability and order. Scalia saw this and spoke against it many times. However, calling him a “theorist” was the liberal attempt to offset the truth of his statements – a favorite ploy of those who reject absolute moral constraints, who want to make the law suit their particular flavor-of-the-month social cause.

What to do? Political avenues seem hopeless. Voting accomplishes little. Writing letters and emails adds weight, but effects no fundamental changes in those in power. Our only hope is Heaven – the residence of all Truth, and the seat of all Power. We definitely need to make an appeal there.