In 1938, writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster introduced a troubled nation to an enduring icon: Superman (1). From as far back as I can remember, Superman has been one of my favorite superheroes. I have always enjoyed watching him deal one crushing blow after another to the bad guys. He has never been afraid of a necessary fight, even at great risk to himself. Superman unashamedly fought for truth, justice, and the American way - that was, until DC Comics decided that Superman’s way and the American way are no longer the same way (2).
We should take a hard look at what many now want to be the American way. Truth and justice should be inherent to the American way, but many now live among us that do not believe this way.
A law degree is not needed to understand and insist on truth and justice in due process. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution state that no one is to be deprived “of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. In lawful due process, one is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, as put forth by this nation’s Supreme Court:
In sensible application of due process, until judgment is rendered in a court of law, judgment should be withheld in the court of public opinion. In the face of accusation, truth is essential to ensuring that justice is preserved in the innocent not being wrongfully convicted and condemned if falsely accused, as well as the guilty being rightly convicted and condemned if factually accused. Freedom and reputation are to be preserved under the presumption of innocence until the proof of guilt with facts, rather than being threatened under the presumption of guilt regardless of facts.
However, many Americans do not want to be bothered with facts, as they try to advance their ideological agendas at all costs. In the abandonment of due process, the pointing finger is enough to prosecute, if prosecution means that their agendas move forward. Accusation is enough to declare guilt if the pronounced sentence means the removal of anyone that disagrees with their ideologies. The debacle we witnessed in the Senate Democrats’ hit job on Justice Kavanaugh, along with the public outcry against his confirmation, with no evidence for the accusations against him, should make us all soberly assess this pressing danger to liberty as we know it. If this movement gets the traction it is grasping for in our society as a whole, it will destroy liberty as we know it. The Constitution, the bedrock of our legal system, will just be a sheet of paper, crumbling into irrelevance, and the structure will crumble with it.
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. (President John Adams)
While we can question the extent to which a comic book character should inspire and inform us, Superman once fought for something we should all still be fighting for. The fight for truth, justice, and the American Way should not be a trivial whim to be written and erased at will in a comic strip or our culture. We Americans have this fight still before us. If those that want to throw out truth and justice in due process get their way, they will destroy the American way. Truth and justice must never be abandoned and divorced from the American way. We must fight for truth and justice as the American way, if we believe America should be “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”.
The works of His hands are truth and justice.
Let justice roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
See also Losing the Presumption of Innocence
Let us aspire to understand the times and know what we
(1 Chronicles 12:32)