What is Law?

Column by Dr. Carl Krieg on 11 July 2024 0 Comments

The laws we have are products of a particular group, not universal truths. The question then becomes: who gets to say what? White land-owning founding fathers? Hateful white nationalist? The majority? A greasy wheel minority? In a sense, every rule or law arises out of a specific context, a given historical situation.

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The country is polarized, so it's hard to have a conversation about anything. My family is divided, so I make fewer and fewer visits. I ignore many of my neighbors, too. How did we get here?


Religion plays an outsize role in American politics. The collapse of the church into state affairs led to the rise of the Christian Right.

I continue to argue that the Christian Right needs to talk with the right Christians because the biggest threat to American democracy right now is white Christian Nationalism.

Religion's Latin root, "religio," means to bind and bring together, and Christian Nationalism has served as an illegitimate political and power base in binding people's shared hatred and acts of discrimination in the name of God.

Christian Nationalism, in particular, is a form of Christian heresy, and it's a cancerous ideology and political force that has metastasized in every aspect of American society- family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business, and, sadly, government, too. Christian Nationalism's effort to uphold white supremacy by using religion has no moral bottom.

How is it upheld legally?

I call it the Trump effect. In Trump's era of the  Supreme Court that is still with us today, the uber-conservative justices have eroded decades-long civil rights gains and the Constitutional mandate of separation between church and state.

Trump's slogan to "Make American Great Again" was an undisguised dog whistle to his Christian Nationalist base to keep America a white heteronormative theocracy. The Supreme Court rulings have worked on behalf of Trump's evangelicals.

For example, Trump won the presidency on the promise he would appoint judges with a Christian worldview. And Trump delivered. During his tenure, Trump nominated 274 conservative Republicans to federal benches and three to the Supreme Court- Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett-who all sided in overturning Roe v. Wade. Today, as with the Dobb decision to overturn Roe, the Supreme Court comprises six Catholics, accounting for two-thirds of its total number of justices, of which five are pro-lifers. And pro-lifer Catholics will have an impact in this coming election.

~ Rev. Irene Monroe




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