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1. Prayer, Rutherford, & the ACLU
2. The Wall-of-Separation Stunt
[COMMENT: Written about 1992 when (in my fifth decade) I was just beginning to understand that America was founded as a Christian, not a secular, nation. It was like an explosion within me. For the first time in my life I was able to unite my Christian faith with my admiration for America.
The description below is ugly. It has gotten
only worse in the 20 years since then.
(Original at C:road/3bbs/soc/10pol/polcom/wall.txt)
I. PRAYER, RUTHERFORD, & the ACLU
II. The "WALL of SEPARATION" STUNT
I. P R A Y E R , R U T H E R F O R D , & the A C L U
F. Earle Fox
Some months ago (as of this writing 8.19.93) the ACLU sent
letters to schools in Tennessee threatening lawsuits should
students be permitted to pray at graduation ceremonies, despite
consistent judicial opinion that student initiated prayer was
not a violation of the law. The Rutherford Institute responded
with a lawsuit, charging the ACLU with harassment of the
schools. The ACLU sent a letter to Rutherford, copies of which
Rutherford sent to its mailing list. The following, with the
addition of supporting quotes, is my response to the ACLU.
I-A. The FOUNDING FATHERS
Dear Mr. Glasser,
I received a copy of your letter of May 25 to Ms. Alexis Crow,
Legal Director at the Rutherford Institute, and wish to respond.
I heartily support your attitude that we must at all costs
defend the open arena of truth-testing and truth-telling, that
anyone whosoever has a right, and indeed obligation, to speak
his view of the truth to the rest of us in matters of public
You did not explain in the letter, however, why you thought the Rutherford
Institute was endorsing goals which might be termed "force of
darkness". No doubt it has to do with their defending students'
rights to pray in schools. It was not clear from your letter
who you think of as those dark forces -- religion per se, some
religions, secular religions, or only religious religions? God
Himself? One suspects that religious religions are your target,
i.e., those folks who believe in a personal God.
Both the Supreme Court and the Humanist Manifesto #1
have declared that secularism is also a
"religion" (i.e., that it offers answers to the basic questions
of life). If there is a "church" for this secular religion, it
is the public education system, the primary institution by which
secularism has been taught and spread in America -- largely
thanks to the ineptness (and dare one say, cowardice?) of
Christians and Jews.
I am interested in knowing where Thomas Jefferson and James
Madison, as you say, "often pointed out" the need for a strict
separation between church and state. Do you have specific
quotes to which you could refer me?
My reading of the founding fathers points quite the other
direction. Jefferson, when he was president, was also chairman
of the DC school board, during which time he wrote the
curriculum, or a good bit of it. He established the Bible and
Watts Hymnal as the two basic textbooks which every student was
to read. There is not a man who signed the Declaration of
Independence or who participated in the Constitutional
Convention who did not believe in the general Biblical
worldview, i.e., that God created the world, that He therefore
owns it, and that He therefore has the ultimate decision about
why the world exists, and what it is for.
Jefferson was (perhaps) not a Christian. He might have been in some ways more of a
Jew in his philosophy -- i.e. the Biblical worldview without a Christian
Messiah. But he understood that both as individuals and as nations
we stand under the judgement of God, and that the "inalienable
rights" of which the Declaration spoke came from God.
Without God there is no such thing as an "inalienable" right.
And without inalienable rights, there is no substantial ground
for a democratic republic, or for the rights of either minority
or majority. Without God, it all comes down to power struggle,
and the devil take the hindmost.
There is no legislation or judicial case prior to about 1940 whatsoever to support the
notion that America was founded on the "separation of Church and
State" in the sense the Supreme Court has led us to believe in
the last three decades (see quotes below).
I am including some material which I and others have written on
the subject, which perhaps might clarify what I believe was
happening during the writing of the American constitution.
Americans were discovering the real separation -- the one
between coercive power and decision-making authority. That
separation has been profoundly violated by the Supreme Court,
which is nothing less than an overthrow of our constitution, and thus
deserving impeachment. That violation is leading precisely to
the government control of the public arena that the Constitution
was written to prevent.
You ask, "Why else do you think we Americans have enjoyed more
religious freedom and less religious strife than any other
The reason was not because religion was
debarred from government, but quite the opposite, that for the
better part of our history we were a nation which freely and
willingly understood ourselves to be under the law of God. The
security, order, and moral consensus brought about by that
understanding released the energy, drive, and vision to which
your question points.
That there were gross flaws still to be worked out is clear, but
the spiritual dynamic was in place to resolve those peaceably,
given time and persistence.
I-B. RED-EYED SURVEILLANCE
At a local school board meeting recently it was proposed to put
video surveillance cameras on the school buses (with little red
lights indicating when they are on) to help curtail the
disruptive behavior of our children.
The problem is the erosion of the conscience of the American
people, including our kids. They simply do not understand the
difference between right and wrong. Not a word was spoken at
the meeting recognizing the disintegration of moral conscience
or what might be the cause of that.
In the '40's and '50's, "misbehavior" meant throwing spit balls
and not putting your waste paper in the basket. Today it means
cutting bus upholstery, open profanity, mugging, guns in school,
rape, and murder. One city school system in a recent year had a
gunshot on average every day of the school year.
Two 18 year-olds recently on an escapade of robbery and random
violence killed Michael Jordan's father. A few years ago a gang
of youth "wilding" in Central Park, NYC, left a woman raped and
beaten nearly to death. Our condition is appalling, and not
It is not only appalling, it is perfectly well explainable.
America no longer has a moral conscience -- a consensus about
what right and wrong means, so, as the Old Testament described
it (rather accurately), "every man did what was right in his own
eyes". Today we call it "pluralism" and "relative truth". That
is what our kids are doing on the buses: pluralism, relative
ethics, and whatever is right in their own eyes.
Students, according to polls, generally feel it is "OK" to cheat
on exams. They feel morally accountable to no one. They are
behaving this way because that is the kind of morality they are
by law being taught in all public schools today. Objective
morality is called "religious" and therefore forbidden.
Are these the attitudes and activities which the ACLU defends?
Putting a surveillance device on the buses will not build their
consciences. It will perhaps deter some misbehavior for a
while. But the long run result will be resentment against the
authorities who are "always looking at us" and never dealing
with the deeper reasons about why there is such misbehavior.
You do not feel much loved by a red-eyed surveillance device,
and in the end you grow to hate it.
Only God, who both surveys and loves us, can build our
consciences in a stable manner so that we police ourselves, thus
making buses safe and a democratic republic possible. Without
God there will be no such thing. That demise has already taken place.
We live in post-America, no longer a democratic republic.
The invention of a democratic republic in 1776 came out of a
specifically Christian struggle to discover the right relation
between Church and State (into which Christians were catapulted
in the year 312 when the Roman Emperor Constantine was converted
to Christianity). The American republic did not come out of the
secular struggle -- which was being acted out in France at the
same time, and which spawned in a direct line of descent the
French Revolution led by the Emperor Napoleon, the German
Revolution (Nazism) led by Hitler, the Russian Revolution
(Communism) led by Marx, Lenin, and Stalin, and a host of other
"helpful" revolutions around the world.
Secular folks put themselves into a catch-22: the very thing
they want, a democratic society, can be had only at the price of
what they do not want, submission to the law of God.
Either God will rule -- or the state will. And the state cannot
offer rights of any kind at all, let alone "inalienable" rights,
because rights must be based on moral obligation. The state
(without God) has no jurisdiction to offer rights or impose
obligations, it has only surveillance devices and the coercive
force to compel compliance.
And force without right is tyranny, is it not? Precisely what
our founding fathers fought King George about.
That is why James Madison, architect of the Constitution, said:
"...we have staked the whole future of American civilization not
upon the power of government -- far from it, but we have staked
the future of all of our political institutions upon the
capacity of mankind for self government , upon the capacity of
each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to
sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."
And Thomas Jefferson, explaining why he thought the Christian
religion was the only secure basis of a democratic republic
because it governs behavior by forming a conscience within:
"The precepts of philosophy, and of the Hebrew code, laid hold
of actions only. [Jesus] pushed his scrutinies into the heart
of man, erected his tribunal in the region of his thoughts, and
purified the waters at the fountain head."
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we
have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of
the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?"
"I have always said, and always will say, that the studious
perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens."
And George Washington:
"It is impossible to rightly govern... without God and the Bible."
And Robert Winthrop:
"Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a
power within them, or by a power without them; either by the
word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or
by the bayonet."
An immoral people will not be a free people, they will be a
surveyed and coerced people. If the generation of children
riding our buses today are not turned around, they will be the
civilization tomorrow governed by Big Brother, not by themselves
under God. "By the Bible or by the bayonet". What then are
little red-eyed surveillance boxes -- but forerunners of
I-D. The ONLY GUARANTEE
My contention with the Rutherford Institute is thus that they
are not "radical" enough in responding to you. It follows from
legitimate and reasonable constitutional law that not only may
schools and the government pray at civic occasions, they are
logically, legally, and morally obligated to do so, i.e. to
honor God whose law is the foundation of our democratic republic.
Christians can say to people of other faiths:
"Our God requires us to honor your participation in the public
arena, and therefore no one who shows interest in the truth of a
matter will be excluded from public debate. God does not want
or need anyone to defend His case unworthily. Furthermore, His
almighty power and omniscience stand behind His guarantee of
academic and political freedom for all."
No one but God can guarantee our freedom like that. That is the
source of all "inalienable" rights. No one, not government, and
certainly not Christians or Christian churches, can remove the
rights and freedoms granted by God to all people.
If God is not the guarantor, then there is no guarantee, an
understanding the founding fathers built into the American
Christians have not always honored the God-given rights of
others, and are therefore at fault before God, let alone before
their fellow human beings. But that is precisely the
point: Christians who do not honor their fellow human beings are
at fault before God, and therefore on their own principles can
be called to account. Because the rights of people are
inalienable, so are the obligations on other people to honor
But however badly Christians have behaved, God has not behaved
badly ever. And it is before Him that they, we, and government
will ultimately stand trial, not before any human court.
This guarantee from God is why governments heading toward
"management" of the people, mind-control, and social
engineering, will always make an enemy of Biblically oriented
people. Such governments know that they must overcome the
peoples' notion that they have rights transcending those granted
by the state, and that the state itself is under a law higher
The state, to prevent sliding into anarchy, must then struggle
to replace God in its effort to do what only God can do, form
the moral conscience of the people. Government cannot bring
compliance and still allow open debate, it must control the
public square because the public square without a moral
conscience will become ungovernable by any means other than
surveillance and coercive force.
If things have deteriorated so badly that surveillance is
necessary, then let us have our cameras. But let us forestall
the bayonet by also creating a groundswell to inform our Supreme
Court that it cannot rewrite our Constitution at its whim, and
that we, the people under God, through our Constitution and our
legislature, tell it how to judge, it does not tell us. And let
us require our government to restore to America its Godly
heritage. The time will then return when we will again no
longer need red-eyed boxes to survey our children.
[NOTE: the queries above were not answered by the ACLU.]
[The following originated in the summer of 1993 as a
letter-to-the-editor of the Los Angeles Times, occasioned by an
article on the reiteration by the Supreme Court of its 1962
decision to outlaw prayer in schools. The letter was not
+ + + + + + + +
II. The W A L L of S E P A R A T I O N S T U N T
F. Earle Fox
The Supreme Court has again forbidden God to talk to students or
teachers and it has forbidden students and teachers to talk to
God -- at least in any way that can be noticed during school
time. Such talking (i.e. praying), we are told, is
unconstitutional. This reaffirmation, like the original 1962
decision, is a travesty of juridical competence and intellectual
II-A. The ROLE of JEFFERSON
Consider the following:
(1) If the justices of the Court wish to understand the intent
of the framers of the Constitution, they must apply, not to
Jefferson but to Washington, Adams, Franklin, Madison, and
others. These, however, will offer little comfort to the Court
for its current view, which is perhaps why the Court has tried
the "Jefferson wall of separation" stunt. Jefferson is
constantly quoted on the matter of Church-State relations as
though he were the final expert on the subject when in fact he
had no direct part in writing either the Constitution or the
Bill of Rights because he was ambassador in France at the time.
(2) Jefferson, further more, did not favor separation of
Biblical religious principles from government. He might be
called a very "liberal" Christian, (perhaps) denying miracles and the
divinity of Christ, but he was not a "deist", i.e., one who
believes that the Creator takes no personal, guiding, or judging
interest in human affairs (as he and Benjamin Franklin are often
and wrongly pictured believing). His worldview (if not his
understanding of Christ) was Biblical, not secular or pagan.
Jefferson was also not a "pluralist" in the contemporary sense
of the word, one who holds that truth is relative and that all
views are equally valid. He held to a legitimate pluralism
which holds that all views ought to have equal access to the
arena of open debate, and that the real and valid truth from
among the contenders would make itself known in the process.
Jefferson was a liberal in the best sense of the word, insisting
on an open field for reasonable debate on any question.
"Liberalism" which believes truth to be relative ensnarls itself
in contradictions and bankrupts itself intellectually, none of
which Jefferson would have put up with.
His phrase, "a wall of separation between Church and State",
does not occur in the Bill of Rights or Constitution. It came
out of a letter written as President in 1802, long after the
Constitution was written, to clergy in Danbury, Connecticut, who
were concerned that the government was going to "establish" a
particular denomination of Christians. The "wall" phrase was
used by Jefferson to assure the Danbury clergy that general
Christian principles, but no particular denomination of
Christians, had been constitutionally established as the common
law basis of the newly formed nation, and that the government
(specifically Congress) was forbidden (hence the "wall") from
inhibiting this free exercise of religion, even in government,
indeed, especially in government.
Because no code of law can ever hope to totally encapsulate the
full meaning of a nation's legal intent, legislators and judges
rely on what are called "organic utterances" and "common law"
which express the general philosophy believed by the people of
the nation but are not necessarily codified in law. These
notions are explained by David Barton in THE MYTH OF SEPARATION
"'Organic,' in a legal sense, simply means 'belonging to the
fundamental or constitutional law' and can be comprised of both
historical information and of previous legal rulings based on
such historical information. 'Organic utterances' are the base
on which laws are built and are therefore part of the law -they
are what judges term the 'common law.'"
Although Jefferson did not help write either the Constitution or
the Bill of Rights with its First Amendment, he did write the
first draft of the Declaration of Independence, America's birth
certificate, which precedes both in time and in constitutional
law the Constitution itself, and states the reason for why America
exists. The Constitution gives us the
political structure, the "Government instituted among Men," by
which those values and goals given in the Declaration of
Independence are secured. The Constitution stands incomplete
without the prior Declaration.
In the Declaration, Jefferson made a very direct and pointed
reference to God, and the Continental Congress added three more,
as an integral and organic part of their justification for
rebellion against king or parliament: God is a higher moral
authority than either king or parliament, and by the "laws of
Nature and of Nature's God", king and parliament have lost the
authority to rule in America. The founding fathers well
understood that apart from the law of God they had no moral
basis for rebellion, and were indeed guilty of high treason.
Jefferson and others were, to be sure, influenced by the
Enlightenment in progress on the Continent, but the English and
American notion of individual freedom and of obligation to civil
law did not, and could not have, emerged out of secular sources
of whatever sort. Gary Amos in DEFENDING THE DECLARATION
documents in historical detail the Biblical and Christian roots
of any notion of objective and inalienable personal freedom and
personal value, and specifically as enunciated in the
Declaration of Independence.
I have given what I believe to be the philosophical case to show
that only the Biblical worldview is capable of supporting such
notions. If that is true, then the decisions of the Supreme
Court itself apart from God have no objective authority because
objective authority, moral or legal, logically requires the
backing of the God.
It is therefore manifestly contradictory, absurd, and indeed
unconstitutional for the Supreme Court to claim the authority to
declare that neither faculty nor students in our public schools
may openly talk or listen to God who gave us the authority to
found our nation in the first place. It is the Supreme Court
that has violated the Constitution, not those who pray in school.
To underscore the point, while Jefferson was President, he was
also chairman of the public school board in Washington D.C. He
helped write the curriculum -- in which he established the Bible
and Watts Hymnal as the two fundamental textbooks of the school
system. Some deist.
II-B. BIBLICAL ROOTS of the AMERICAN LAW
The roots of the American constitution go back to the Old
Testament and the testimony of David and Nathan that the king
and government are under the law, not above it (II Samuel
11-12). The Hebrews were the only ancient culture to believe
such a thing. The universal pagan attitude (including
"democratic" Athens) was that the government is the law, beyond
which there is no appeal. Whatever individual human value or
freedom existed was bestowed by the government, not by a higher
authority to which the government was subject, and therefore
could be removed by government. That, no doubt, is why Socrates
efforts at being an intellectual gadfly were greeted with a cup
of poison: the Athenian government recognized no authority above
itself in virtue of which its attitudes, its common law base,
could be challenged or corrected.
It would likewise be difficult to find a contemporary culture
believing that government is under the law which did not get
that belief from our Biblical heritage.
Constantine made the Church legal in 312, an act which launched
a radically new phase of the Church-State struggle. Christians
found that, although they had known how to deal very effectively
with government as enemy, they knew little about how to relate
to government as friend -- hence the long history of power
struggle between Church and State. Pope and emperor contended
fiercely, plowing up the ground in which the seeds of democracy
would sprout. Little green shoots had appeared in both civil
and canon law well before even the English Magna Carta of 1215.
Contrary to "Enlightenment" propaganda, the drive toward
democratic republicanism was halted, not encouraged, by the
resurgence of classical Greek and Roman notions of law. The
notion of the divine right of kings, which in effect placed the
king again above the law, did not come out of Scripture, but out
of the Renaissance and later Enlightenment drift toward the
secular and pagan worldview. Robespierre, Napoleon, Hitler, and
Stalin were the logical heirs of the divine right theory.
The rejection by Christians of the French Revolution
was a repeat
of their earlier rejection of Caesar's claim to be "lord". God and only God
could make that claim.
The divine right of kings was only a first political
step out of the
Biblical worldview into a full blown resurrection of ancient
paganism in which "Caesar" is god. A Godless worldview is
incapable of sustaining any notion either of objective morality
or of inalienable individual personal freedom. Without these
government always drifts away from rational moral debate toward
power struggle and oppression.4
The American Constitution was only the latest event in this long
struggle to resolve Church-State relations. It was a
specifically Christian struggle wrestled through in America by
overwhelmingly Christian people -- as distinct from the French
Revolution in which the attempt to promote freedom was based on
secular philosophy with brutal suppression of any religious
view. The French Revolution and the other two revolutions
spawned by it, the German revolution (Nazism) and the Russian
revolution (Communism), only prove the point. A God-less world
will always become the enemy, not the friend, of democratic
The American resolution of the problem was a cooperative
arrangement between the Church and State, a division of powers
of the sort existing between the three branches of government.
Coercive force was given to the State, not to any institutional
Church. The government has coercive power but may not decide
which ultimate values to enforce. The religious community,
composed of all the Churches in the open and public arena of
discussion, was given the task of informing every aspect of
private or public life. But it had to do it democratically,
i.e., in the arena of reasonable debate with other contenders
and through the election of their representatives. Government
may enforce only those ultimate values (including religious)
which are decided in free debate by the people. The arena of
public debate is where spiritual values are to be decided -- but
no party to that debate may have coercive power, and no
legislation may be enacted which will compromise the continued
openness of the debate. That is precisely the point of the
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the
people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for
a redress of grievances."
For the Supreme Court unilaterally to change the Constitution by
voting God out is therefore not only blasphemous (and silly), it
is usurpation of constitutional power. And if the Biblical
design be correct, it is a sure path to disaster. Only the
people themselves have the constitutional right to set or change
the basic priorities of our common law which govern the making
of all positive law.5
The founding fathers, perhaps to a man, believed that only under
Christian principles would the new constitution work. They
knew, and said, that it would not survive in a God-less, secular
world. It was on this foundation, reaching back through Locke,
Montesquieu, and Blackstone, back through English common law and
Church canon law to Biblical roots, that Jefferson wrote his
first draft of the Declaration.
II-C. The INTENT of the FOUNDING FATHERS
The intent of the founding fathers (clearly, if one reads what
they wrote rather than recent commentators on them) was to promote, not
inhibit the application of Biblical principles in the conduct of
American affairs, public or private.
By "basic Biblical principles" I mean: a belief that God created
the world, that He gave it a purpose for existence (which is the
basis of all moral law), and that the Ten Commandments from the
Old Testament and the Two Great Commandments from the New
Testament are the foundation expression of this law. Democratic
republicanism, in which people actually choose their own
leaders, seems "old hat" to Americans today. But two centuries
ago this was a new and fragile experiment. The founding fathers
believed that apart from this Biblical foundation, their
experiment would collapse. (Those who desire to assist the
building of democratic republics around the world would do well
to take note of this truth.)
Nearly every one of the founding fathers -- those who signed the
Declaration in 1776 and/or those who framed the Constitution in
1787-88 -- accepted and promoted the Biblical worldview and
general Christian principles as the ultimate common law basis of
American jurisprudence. They wanted a Christian nation, and
said so, but did not want any one denomination to have
governmental coercive force over the beliefs of anyone at all,
as had happened in Europe and from which their forefathers had
This was precisely the point of the often referred to "Virginia
Bill for Religious Liberty" sponsored by Jefferson and Madison
in the Virginia Assembly, 1785-86, just prior to the
Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, which passed while
Jefferson was in France. The Anglican denomination was removed
from its place of established privilege, but general Christian
principles remained intact in Virginia as well as throughout the
The founding fathers (not only Jefferson) placed the study of
the Bible as the foundation of public education to prevent the
unhappy power struggle relation between Church and State which
had been standard history in Europe. Why? Because they
perceived true Biblical principles to resolve the Church-State
issue. The Bible was the solution, not the problem, because the
Biblical worldview provides the only rational basis for
objective morality and is therefore the source both for the
obligation of civil law and for the individual freedom which
operates in conjunction with civil law.
The founding fathers were aware that the only comparatively
recently had the common man in Europe been given open access to
the Bible, and that the impact of that access was the
overturning of authoritarian forms of government, notions of
which had survived from pre-Christian paganism, and which were
being resuscitated in the increasingly secularist states.
There is nothing in the classical Greek or Roman worldview, the
secularized Renaissance, or in the humanist Enlightenment which
can generate or sustain a sense either of objective moral
obligation or of inalienable personal freedom. Both of these
logically require a personal creator God who gives the creation
its purpose for existence. Apart from a creator God, existence
has no purpose for the simple reason that it has no purposer.
It was none other than Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional
Convention who broke a deadlock with his observations that their
searching among ancient classical and contemporary European
governments for models had led nowhere, and that they must turn
"to the Father of lights to illuminate our understanding." Some
The recent decision of the Court was made on the grounds that
children of elementary and secondary age ought not to be
subjected to anything that would influence them toward belief in
God, and that schools supported with public taxes need to
protect children in that area. The founding fathers, Jefferson
included, would have replied that would be nonsense, and no more
reasonable than "protecting" them from being influenced by the
truths of mathematics or history. They wanted the Bible in the
schools precisely to influence the children toward belief in
God. They were not neutral, permissive, or pluralistic on that
point. Jefferson (one of the tamest on the issue) affirmed:
"I have always said, and always will say, that the studious
perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens."
He wrote his Washington, D.C., curriculum precisely so that
school children would studiously "peruse the sacred volume."
II-D. The SUPREME COURT and the OATH
The United States was, and still is, founded constitutionally on
Christian principles. This is not a concoction of rigid,
right-wing, benighted religious folk, but rather a truth
repeatedly affirmed by the United States Supreme Court right up
In an 1892 case, for example, (Church of the Holy Trinity v. the
United States) the Court spent the last eight of its sixteen
page decision showing that the United States is constitutionally
a Christian nation and why it would be absurd and legally
impossible to legislate restrictions against general Christian
principles. The Court gave a history lesson on the founding of
America from Columbus through the Declaration of Independence,
and then cited portions from the then forty-four state
constitutions, and previous Supreme Court decisions. "These",
the Court said, "are not individual sayings, declarations of
private persons: they are organic utterances; they speak the
voice of the entire people..." The Court then quoted from its
own previous decision of 1824: "...we find that in Updegraph v.
the Commonwealth, it was decided that, 'Christianity, general
Christianity, is and always has been, a part of the common
law...not Christianity with an established church...but
Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men.'"
The justices have all taken a sacred oath to defend the
Constitution of the United States, an oath in the majority of
cases of the last four decades not faithfully upheld. When the
1962 Court ruled that talking or listening to God in public
schools was unconstitutional, it gave (for the first time in its
history) not a single historical or juridical precedent -because
there was none to give. The decision was made up whole cloth,
in truth a revolution pulled off without a shot being fired.
The Court did not adopt Jefferson's (or any other founding
father's) view of a wall between Church and State. The Court
picked eight words out of context from an obscure letter by
Jefferson, ignoring everything else both he and the other
founding fathers said on the subject, in order to concoct a view
which would bring down the great wrath and contempt of Jefferson
were he to discover it. The justices thereby betrayed their
vows by not defending the Constitution and by instead distorting
it to alien ends.
II-E. WHO TELLS WHOM?
All of the above assertions are documented in the materials
referred to in this article -- not with eight words taken out of
context, but with page after page of quotations: from the
original colonial vision which was the seed bed of our freedom,
from the founding fathers in whom the seeds bore the mature
fruit of our Constitution, and from previous Supreme Court
decisions which unanimously confirmed this unique and enduring
marriage under God of responsibility and freedom -- all those
precedents which the 1962 and 1992 Courts should have been
quoting, but apparently had some trouble finding.
There are honest and legal ways to change our Constitution,
which any true American citizen, religious or secular, would
support. But to have an unelected body, appointed for life,
inaccessible to public recall, brazenly rewrite the Constitution
at its whim is not one of them. That is an oligarchy and
tyranny, not a democratic republic. It is absurd that the
people of America have come to wait with bated breath for the
Supreme Court to tell us what our own Constitution means. We
are to tell the Court what it means through our elected
The unbelievable arrogance of the majority decision was
highlighted by Richard John Neuhaus in his article, "The Dred
Scott of Our Time", quoting the Planned Parenthood v. Casey
majority decision given by the same five justices (Kennedy,
O'Conner, Stevens, Blackmun, and Souter). The majority
decision (which allowed some state restrictions on abortion but
upheld the essential effect of Roe v Wade that no infant in the
womb is guaranteed protection of life) assigned to the Court a
right to set and determine the moral opinion of the country:
"It is the dimension present whenever the Court's interpretation
of the Constitution calls the contending sides of a national
controversy to end their national division by accepting a common
mandate rooted in the Constitution."
As Neuhaus indicates, the "mandate" did not emerge out of the
Constitution, but out of their personal opinions as to what they
wanted it to say. Anyone who has been taught to read and think
straight does not need the Supreme Court to tell them what the
Constitution says. But persons educated under the public
schools of the "liberal" Court's thirty year domain are becoming
increasingly unable to do either of those. 700,000 students
recently graduated high school who could not read their own
diploma. 90,000,000 Americans, one-half of the adult
population, are functionally illiterate. Producing graduates
like that, the justices are working themselves into a job: we do
need an "infallible" and god-like Court to do the thinking for
the growing mindless population who do not have two complete
thoughts to rub together to ignite a spark.
Given the intellectual incompetence of the majority decision
exhibited for our public schools, it is no wonder that SAT
scores of American public school students plunged downhill for
eighteen straight years immediately upon the 1962 Court decision
against God and prayer -- with SAT scores thirty years later
still disgracefully declining. This is the protection our
Supreme Court has offered our schools for nearly four decades,
protection from ever having to deal honestly with the
intellectual, moral, and spiritual problems of our lives.
If the Supreme Court has strayed so far from the intent of the
Constitution as the evidence indicates, then many of those
entrusted with the responsibilities of the highest court in the
land are guilty either of incompetence or deceit or both. They
have put themselves at risk for impeachment on precisely the
same grounds given in the Declaration for impeaching king and
parliament -- the Supreme Court has violated "the laws of nature
and of nature's God," and thereby violated the spirit and intent
of the Constitution.
We can today thank God for four justices out of nine (Scalia,
Rehnquist, Thomas, and White) who have a sense of our history
and of the vision of the founding fathers, who are perhaps aware
of what was said about religion and government, not only by
Jefferson, but by George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John
Jay, and Patrick Henry -- to name a few of those outspoken on
Let us pray for and demand a return to moral and intellectual
integrity in our country's highest court. It can be done
through public outcry ("If you cannot pass a test on the history
and meaning of our Constitution, get off the bench..."), through
the other two branches, legislative and executive, calling the
judicial branch back to its proper task, or, if worst comes to
worst, through impeachment. And all of that must be undergirded
with prayer, the sacraments, Scripture study, and Christian
fellowship, which alone can turn a mere fracas into effective
- ENDNOTES -
1 THE MYTH OF SEPARATION, p. 83. Available from Wallbuilders,
PO Box 397, Aledo, TX 76008. (817) 441-6044. NOTE: THE MYTH OF
SEPARATION has been superseded at Wallbuilders by ORGINAL INTENT.
2 See Gary Amos, DEFENDING THE DECLARATION, Wolgemuth and Hyatt,
Pub., Brentwood, TN, 1989, which documents the clearly Biblical
rather than classical roots of early American notions of freedom.
3 See my article, DEFINING 'Oughtness' AND 'Love', JOURNAL OF
RELIGION, July 1959. Reprints available from Emmaus Ministries.
The article gives thephilosophical proof that any objective moral language
necessarily implies reference to a creator God.
4 See notes above on DEFENDING THE DECLARATION and DEFINING
'Oughtness' AND 'Love'. I have produced a four hour video
presentation, YAHWEH or the GREAT MOTHER?, comparing point for
point the secular/pagan worldview with the Biblical. When the
two are set side by side, it becomes clear indeed which
worldview can support any notion of objective morality and which
5 See booklet, THE FACTS, THE FALL, AND THE WALL, detailing
this notion of the cooperative constitutional relation between
Church and State. Available from Emmaus Ministries.
6 See notes above for reference materials.
7 Wall Street Journal, Thursday, July 2, 1992.
For resources on politics and Christianity, see Politics & Constitution libraries.
[Copyright 1995, F. Earle Fox]
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Date Posted - 11/01/2012 - Date Last Edited - 11/06/2012