On the 'fiscal cliff,' same-sex 'marriage' controversies

Matt C. Abbott
© Matt C. Abbott
December 5, 2012
Reproduced with Permission

Two stories very much in the news right now are the so-called fiscal cliff and same-sex "marriage" controversies.

I've asked Catholic attorney-professor-scholar Brian M. McCall, author of the forthcoming book The Church and the Usurers (Sapientia Press), to comment on these matters that have filled quite a lot of news hole as of late.

Professor McCall's take on the "fiscal cliff" (slightly edited):

All the media frenzy over the 'fiscal cliff' is a tempest in a teapot. In the words of Shakespeare, it 'is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.'

The Democrats and Republicans play to score political points with each other through their posturing over trifles of the ledge of the cliff but ignore the entire root of the problem that brought us to the fiscal cliff. Our entire monetary and financial system is unjust and immoral. It ignores core principles that are as old as Aristotle and Western Civilization. We have created money that is as real as a shell game and usury is the basis of our entire economy. The reason we face a mountain of debt that the fiscal cliff measures merely push a few feet into the future is that our money no longer represents a stable medium of exchange, a reliable measure of value.

From Aristotle to St. Thomas, Western philosophy and economics has agreed that money to fulfill its essential purpose must be a fixed ruler so that people can measure the value of the goods and services they exchange. The government, which is entrusted with preserving the common good, is responsible for maintaining this stable ruler. Yet, in modern times, our government has sold that duty to a private banking consortium, the Federal Reserve Banks, which have turned money into a sliding scale of debt. The private cabal creates money as debt and then charges usury to use the money it has created as debt all with the power of the government sanctioning the immoral and unjust process.

The eminent theologian and economist, Father Dempsey, pointed out this systemic problem in the 1930s when he noted that usury had become institutionalized throughout the economy. This observation came decades before President Nixon completely abolished the gold standard. It is this systemic fraud and injustice that has raised our economy to the precipice over which we hang. Whatever the politicians do or don't do this month will merely lengthen or shorten the consequences of not replacing this house of debt cards with a just monetary and fiscal system.

Professor McCall on SCOTUS and same-sex "marriage" (slightly edited):

I predict that at some point, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide a case claiming a right for some form of same-sex 'marriage,' whether called such or a civil union with all the hallmarks of a real marriage. The reason for this is that the court has for decades now adopted the legal positivist idea of law. This philosophy, which is a product of the Enlightenment, essentially holds that law is whatever any society chooses to make as law. There are no restraints upon the content of laws other than those a society imposes upon itself. If enough people decide abortion should be legal, it should be legal. If enough people support a new definition of marriage, the law has a new definition of marriage.

In essence, the root of this philosophy is the hubris of the Enlightenment: man can use modern science to control and change nature. Nature is not a given, that which God created, but subject to study and manipulation by man at his own discretion. Thus at some point, the Supreme Court will judge that enough people now support this idea and thus will read it into the Constitution as a right. A few justices, like Justice Scalia, will probably vote against the decision but on grounds that concede the war by themselves being rooted in legal positivism. Scalia will likely say that the right to same-sex marriage in not written into the Constitution, but he will concede that if enough people support a same-sex amendment to the Constitution, it would be the law of the land. He thus fights a losing defensive battle behind a Maginot Line of his own legal positivism. All the liberal enemies of God must do is outmaneuver him by positing a new provision of the Constitution.