George Takei, the sodomite made famous by Star Trek, recently went on an ignorant rant against Clarence Thomas. Many Catholics took Takei's side, saying essentially "I think most Americans, including some on the right, were appalled at Thomas' claim that slaves did not have their dignity taken away. "
I distinctly remember reading that passage from Thomas' dissent, and I nearly gave him a standing ovation when I saw it. It is so rare to see Catholic doctrine so clearly enunciated, much less in a SCOTUS opinion. Justice Clarence Thomas virtually quoted Vatican II in that sentence:
"[W]hatever insults human dignity, such as… slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury." (emphasis added) Gaudium et Spes (“The Church in the Modern World”), Vatican II, 1965 #27Every Catholic should stand with Thomas and the Second Vatican Council in reiterating the point. No one can take away human dignity. Even my sins can only begin to chip at it. Part of our suffering in hell will derive precisely from the dignity of each individual human being, human beings made in the image and likeness of God, who suffer separation from the Godhead.
Clarence Thomas is brilliant, and he brilliantly summarized conciliar documents in that sentence.