Equal Protection

Part I

Feb 8, 2007

To the feeling, intelligent individual, ones religious faith may well be the single most important factor in that person’s life. However, it cannot be the most important factor in maintaining the moral, spiritual and physical health of the community. Faith in our basic, “universal” values such as “freedom, equality, fairness and equity” is what our country is based on along with the “logic” to maintain these values. The “founding fathers” tried desperately to formulate a document that reflects these very values.

Whether through true feelings and values of “love of fellow man” or the shame, guilt and embarrassment of not looking like “founding fathers,” these men compromised their greatest faults and came up with our “Constitution.” True, these mostly rich landowners envisioned candidates paid by them who would do their bidding for the right price, however, they were ashamed to say this in their Constitution, ashamed to treat the rich better than the poor, to favor one religion over another. And, even though their document did not give slaves and certain others full citizenship, it insured that eventually they would have to be awarded equality based on other parts of their document.

Why, then, do I consider the U.S. Constitution the logical extension of the values of the New Testament and the New Testament the logical extension of the Old Testament? Why do I consider our “Constitution” the greatest of all documents of this time, greater than any Bible, Koran or any religious document?

Is it because our Constitution is based on universal moral tenets, not “religious,” not “secular”, not “dictatorial” ones? Is it because it is based on the honorable attempt to distill the wisdom of philosophy with as little religious bias as possible? Is it because the sum of so many “relatively good,” mostly Christian people added up to a “true” Christian document, a document that basically corrects itself? As my Christian friend remarked” “Men may have written the Constitution, but I think I can see in it, the hand of God.”

A study of the Amendments to the Constitution clearly seems to show that each amendment is actually a correction of contradictory entries. For example, slaves cannot be ¾ human, it contradicts the rest of the Constitution. Prohibition could not last, its unconstitutionality was logical, obvious and eventually the 14th Amendment with its “equal protection” under the law for citizens and groups will be remembered and enforced.

The Constitution is not really based on the Christian Bible, it is based on Aristotle’s notion that the basis of law is “equity” or “fairness.” It does not take a rocket scientist to see this, especially if one reads the writings of our “founding fathers.” Sadly, it may take a non-lawyer, however, since this “blasphemy” of Aristotle is frowned upon in law schools. “Justice is blind” does not mean that “it’s too bad that the law is unfair.” It is meant to paraphrase the idea that justice is for everyone, not just rich lobbyists. It means that our judges are not supposed to choose when they feel like applying equity and fairness, only how to apply them.

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.