Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2022. 3:48 pm CST.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
By Fr. Scott Giuliani, SOLT:
After a long debate, the Legalization of Marijuana bill was voted to be passed by less than 50% of the Senate while the social partners were united in their rejection of the bill. UDP senators chose to abstain rather than vote against the bill.
What is going on here?
How did it come to this, and how was the legalization of mind-altering drugs justified by the majority of civil leaders, who are otherwise respected for their leadership and intelligence? How could a decision to legalize drug use, which would have been denied by the original leaders of the country of Belize, have been passed by this current generation?
The answer reveals a further concern, and the remedy to restore Belize. My opinion is that the entire public dialogue and debate of the civil leaders, and even some spiritual leaders, on this issue, reveals a shift in moral assessment from natural law, and virtue ethics, to a consequentialism morality. Consequentialism occurs when the morality of an action is judged solely by its consequences, regardless of human nature or virtue ethics.
The Constitution, as envisioned by the founders, best works with a virtue ethic model, where we realize we are free only when “moral and spiritual values and the rule of law” are respected. The vote confirms a consequentialism model of morality among political leaders, which will gradually lead to incremental loss of freedom and morality in its citizens unless there is an intentional decision to return to the natural law and virtue ethic form of morality envisioned in the Constitution of Belize.
Our civil leaders have many gifts to govern in culture, politics, law, and commerce, but many either lack the humility, or the intellectual formation, to recognize the foundational principles from which they have drifted, although with good intentions and altruistic promises. Unfortunately, the real effects of this direction will be felt in the future when a new leadership (whether it is in the current party, or a new one) takes power, and the protective measures embedded by the founders are no longer in place because they have eroded.
The decision by the House of Representatives and Senate to vote to legalize marijuana lacked vision and moral leadership, largely due to a consequentialist moral application. A return to the founding principles of humanity and morality will be necessary to maintain a society of virtue and freedom in Belize. Otherwise, human rights abuses in the name of security, exploitation of women for economic profit, and government overreach of parental rights for the good of children, as seen in other nations that embrace a consequentialist morality, will come to the Jewel. We pray for wisdom and moral courage for the civil leaders to recognize and repair this error. God will be their judge, which is one consequence that is unfortunately diminished when civil leaders are pressured to make immoral decisions. We pray for mercy for those responsible and hope that our leaders will have the humility to receive it.
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