Stoned, but not Out

I have an article this morning on LifeSite, which tries – as all essays should do – to make the case for the distinction between the moderate use of alcohol, permitted by our Tradition, and the use of recreational drugs, such as marijuana, which is not permitted. The argument is a subtle one, and there are grey areas, but please do let me know what you think, here, or in the comments on LifeSite. As Saint Thomas never actually said, we may drink to the point of hilarity, but we may not get stoned

The iconoclasm and vandalism of our culture continues, as a man dismantled and carted away in a pick-up truck the Ten Commandments. At least in this case, unlike the untold number of other acts of wanton destruction, the perpetrator, ironically named Anthony Weimar is facing a felony charge of mischief (think Weimar republic, which was the last regime in Germany before the rise of Hitler). Charge them all; throw the book at them or, in this case, the Ten Commandments. As today’s Psalm (18/19) has it:

The law of the Lord is perfect,
  it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,
  it gives wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
  they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear,
  it gives light to the eyes.

This is the anniversary of the signing into law of the Civil Rights Act, back in 1964, by President Lyndon Johnson, outlawing ‘segregation in public spaces’. Fair enough, but it went farther than that, outlawing discrimination, which, as time has shown but we might have known, is rather vague and broad for a law, not least a public federal law. After all, how does one distinguish what could be labeled ‘racism’ (or whatever other ‘ism’) from the simple fact that someone, whatever his skin colour, is just not suited for a given task, job, school, employment? And now see the Supreme Court using this Act to justify outlawing any and all discrimination against ‘transgenders’ – which means mixed-up – or worse – middle-aged men now being permitted to wander into female change rooms.

As Saint Thomas says, ‘custom has the force of law, abolishes law, and is the interpreter of law’ (I-II, 97.3). What is needed in our culture is a true reformation of our morals, and our moral principles, which will in turn produce good laws, and which need not be many. Manners maketh the man, and without manners, and morals, we unmaketh the man, and are left with unlettered, untutored and unhinged savages, whom the law, as we are witnessing, will either not be able, or not be willing, to constrain.

To the ramparts!