The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 39.0°F | Fair

Natural law has no place in Court

US Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas' praise for the implicit use of natural law in judicial decisions gives legal standing to Catholic theological complaints about "unnatural" sex. Using the pretext of natural law, the Catholic hierarchy opposes birth control, sex-hygiene items such as condoms, sex education in schools, abortion, masturbation and homosexuality. Their real motive is to make people suffer for having sex.

They still believe virginity is best and that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is somehow impure and regrettable. Yet celibacy practiced by the Catholic hierarchy is just as unnatural as birth control.

In Asia 2400 years ago, the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tse objected to roads, carriages and boats as unnatural. Clothes are contrary to nature, yet make man healthier than the naked savage who goes without clothing.

Today we support the idea of inherent human rights, but these are quite different from natural law. Since Judeo-Christianity's basic cosmological model is essentially monarchial, only acquired, and more specifically, bestowed rights--which are revocable--can be found in the Bible and many rights therein are ethnic-group or gender based [Hall, James, "Two Kinds of Rights" in Hoffman, R. Joseph and Gerald A. Larue, editors, Biblical v. Secular Ethics: The Conflict, Buffalo, N.Y.: 1988 Prometheus Books, pp. 117-129].

Let's not return to the Dark Ages under the rubric of natural law.

Jim Senyszyn->