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The United States Supereme Court's War on the Sovereignty of God
Vision Forum ^ | July 8, 2005 | Douglas W. Phillips, Esq

Posted on 07/11/2005 9:37:16 AM PDT by Warhammer

July 8, 2005 By Douglas W. Phillips, Esq. Can the State Acknowledge God?

The defining legal issue of our generation is not the right to life or even the definition of the family, but whether the United States of America — through its laws, its charters, its magistrates, and its public institutions — can and will meaningfully acknowledge the God of the Bible.[1] The acknowledgment of God is the first principle of liberty, a fact which was recognized by the Founding Fathers who declared that “we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.”[2]

Upon the acknowledgement of God and the recognition that He is the supreme lawgiver rests the legal principle which dictates the preservation of the life of the unborn and the integrity of the family. Moreover, it is only by publicly acknowledging and submitting to the lordship of the God of the Bible that America can enjoy security against international terrorism, the well-being of our people, and the hope that future generations will enjoy the liberties so dearly purchased by our fathers.

As we plunge further into the twenty-first century, with the very real threats of nuclear and biological terrorism looming large on the horizon, we are being presented with test after test as a nation to determine whether we will look to the God of our national charter and covenant as our guiding light and lawgiver, or whether we will continue to revile Him and His law as a matter of policy. Dedicated Minorities, Not Half-Hearted Majorities, Will Win the Day

Though our courts and public officials may be in rebellion against the Lord, there is hope for America if only God’s people will be faithful to live by, publicly declare, and hold our leaders accountable to those objective and unchangeable standards declared by Jesus Christ in Holy Scripture and binding at all times for all nations.

Judgment must begin in the house of the Lord. The need of the hour is not for a strategy based on helping the majority to simply be a little less — well — wicked, but on helping the Christian minority to be a whole lot more righteous (and committed to promoting public righteousness). The answer is spiritual and practical obedience to the commission we have been given by our Lord (to disciple the nations, teaching everything God has revealed in the Bible). Herein is the source of political fruits and national blessings. The strategic hope for America’s future, therefore, is not in majorities, but in one dedicated minority — the people of God. God has always worked through the dedicated minority, and there is no reason to believe that our current crisis is different. To put it another way: God may save the city for the sake of the faithful remnant.[3]

In the context of our American citizenship, the Church of Jesus Christ has a duty to be God’s representative before the gates of our land. The duty of sounding forth a clear trumpet blast rests with the people of God. We are to be the most principled and the least pragmatic members of society. We are to heed President George Washington’s biblically sound advice by being above and beyond political partisanship, because our mission transcends partisan objectives. We recognize that our duty is obedience before the Lord Jesus Christ who alone determines outcomes.

When professing Christians place pragmatism and partisan interests above principled action, when they turn a blind eye to wickedness (ungodly judicial nominations,[4] the execution of innocent starving women,[5] the appointment of known homosexuals to positions of leadership in the present administration,[6] etc.) we do more damage to the soul and spirit of our nation than a thousand Planned Parenthoods. We must be more concerned with us than with them. Simply put — judgment must begin in the house of the Lord.

The latest test for the people of God is how we, as a people, will respond to the Court’s present rejection of God, and to what extent we are willing to encourage the President and the Senate to select future justices who will repudiate such wickedness, and to hold both accountable if they fail to act with principled courage to faithfully execute their duty to do just this. The United States Supreme Court Breaks at Least Four of the Ten Commandments

It has been a busy fortnight. Two weeks ago, the United States Supreme Court renewed their declaration of war against the Creator — the same Creator to whom our Founding Fathers appealed as “the Supreme Judge of the world”[7] and who is recognized as such as a matter of federal law.[8]

By banishing the meaningful acknowledgement of God from the public sector,[9] which is explicitly required by Scripture and specifically applied to all judges and civil magistrates (for example by Psalm 2),[10] and by permitting only those public acknowledgments of God which are deliberately intended to present Him and His law as mere historical anecdotes,[11] the Supreme Court is guilty of breaking the First and Third Commandments.[12]

That same week, the Court played Jezebel to Naboth’s vineyard[13] by granting local governments broad and arbitrary powers to seize private homes and estates,[14] thus further destabilizing the American family. Here again, the Supreme Court is institutionally guilty through complicity of breaking the very Ten Commandments they have banished — in this case, the Eighth and Tenth Commandments which declare that man may neither steal nor covet another’s goods.[15]

Last week, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement, thus ending her two-decade reign of terror against the unborn, the biblical doctrine of marriage, and the United States Constitution. Now America awaits the decision of President George W. Bush. Will the President repeat the practice of his last two Republican predecessors of appointing biblically and constitutionally unqualified justices to the highest court of the land, or will he act to establish a legacy of hope by making a courageous nomination? Pro-Homosexual, Pro-Abortion, Pro-International Law O’Connor Ends Her Reign of Terror

Republican nominated Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female Supreme Court Justice of the United States of America, was complicit in baby executions (Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 [1992]), a destroyer of marriage (Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 [2003]), while also a friend to foreign law, but an enemy to Constitutional jurisprudence.

O’Connor should be best remembered for her opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992) in which she offered Supreme Court sanction for the vivisection of precious babies on the grounds that abortion rights are necessary to help women stay in the workforce:

Men and women of good conscience can disagree, and we suppose some always shall disagree, about the profound moral and spiritual implications of terminating a pregnancy, even in its earliest stage. Some of us as individuals find abortion offensive to our most basic principles of morality, but that cannot control our decision. Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code. The underlying constitutional issue is whether the State can resolve these philosophic questions in such a definitive way that a woman lacks all choice in the matter, except perhaps in those rare circumstances in which the pregnancy is itself a danger to her own life or health, or is the result of rape or incest....

To eliminate the issue of reliance that easily, however, one would need to limit cognizable reliance to specific instances of sexual activity. But to do this would be simply to refuse to face the fact that, for two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail. The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.

O’Connor will also be remembered for her decision undermining nearly two thousand years of Western legal tradition concerning marriage by advancing the cause of sodomite marriages in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), for her commentaries on the propriety of using international law to interpret the constitution,[16] and for her role in banishing the formal acknowledgement of God as the lawmaker from the public square through the recent Ten Commandments decisions of this past week. The Fruits of Dogmatic Partisanship

Mrs. O’Connor is the poster child for the dangers of dogmatic partisanship. Her selection and unanimous confirmation as the first woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court inaugurated nearly two decades of Christian political leaders remaining silent in the face of Republican appointments of biblically and constitutionally disqualified candidates for the highest court in our land.

With the exception of a few men,[17] the majority of Christian political leaders rolled over and played dead through one outrageous judicial nomination after another. In some cases, Christians and conservatives were told by leaders within the Republican administration to “trust the President (wink, wink) because the nominee is secretly very conservative.” This, despite clear public track records to the contrary.[18]

Like Lucy holding the football in front of a trusting Charlie Brown, Christians fall prey to the same tricks over and over again. You know the old expression: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I would add: Fool us five hundred times in a row... and, well... you get the picture.

But why do so many well-intentioned professing Christian leaders succumb to endless political manipulation, low standards, and fundamental compromises, especially when it comes to the judicial nomination process? I think there are a dozen reasons, from an ungodly fear of bad results, to ignorance, to poor theology, to navet. But the reason which too often raises its ugly head is that many Christian politicos and their followers take their cue from dogmatic partisans, not the Word of God.

Dogmatic partisans view events in terms of the perpetuation and success of the party at all costs. Consequently, dogmatic partisans have double standards. Dogmatic partisans voice moral outrage at Democratic wrongdoing, but refuse to hold Republicans to the same standard. Dogmatic partisanship advances the practice that we set aside intelligent analysis and objective standards when selecting leaders because the goals of the political party are paramount. Dogmatic partisanship is pragmatic by nature, making subjective political decisions based not on objective biblical standards, but on a man’s reason, deifying short-thinking analysis of what constitutes the lesser of two evils. In my view, dogmatic partisanship is inherently unbiblical because it posits a blind loyalty to a political party over the revealed and objective standards of Holy Scripture. God has given us in Holy Scripture clear, identifiable standards for selecting civil magistrates and judges. We are never, ever at liberty to diminish, improvise upon, or set aside biblical standards of qualifications for leaders.

For years, Christian partisans have been saying, “We need Republican Presidents because we need to control the judiciary.” O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter are examples of the fact that Christians need to stop thinking like dogmatic (and sycophantic) partisans and need to start thinking and acting like Christians. Candidates for judicial office who will not acknowledge the Lawgiver (Psalm 2) or abide and rule by His moral code may not serve in office, cannot be supported for positions of civil leadership, and should not even be considered for such positions.

Let’s be clear: Democrats cannot be blamed for the mass murder of babies when Republican judicial appointees have helped lead the charge. Democrats cannot be blamed for the attack on the biblical family in favor of homosexual rights, because Republican judicial appointees helped to carry the day. Democrats cannot be blamed for the move toward international law, because most of the worst thinking has come from Republican Supreme Court Justices.

President Bush must now select a judicial nominee to replace O’Connor. Based on his recent track record and his public statements, and absent strong accountability from the Christian community, it is unlikely that the President will select a candidate for Supreme Court Justice who differs fundamentally from Republican-appointed O’Connor, Souter, and Kennedy.[19] (I hope I am wrong and will gladly say so with praise to the President if he acts courageously.) That is why it is the duty of the Christian community to thoroughly support the President if he appoints a candidate who meets God’s requirements for judicial office (is there anyone who really wants to suggest that God’s requirements don’t matter?) and to vehemently oppose President Bush’s wrongful actions if the President demonstrates a lack of courage and Christian commitment by taking the typical political route.

The bottom line is this: The President must fear God more than the political implications of the judicial nomination process. Christians must fear God more than the Democrats or other dogmatic partisans. How Should We Select Supreme Court Justices?

Everybody has a test. The test may be clear and principled or ambiguous and pragmatic, but every President has a standard by which he selects nominees for judicial office. For some, the test is simply, “what nominee will gain me the most political leverage?” For others, the test concerns specific judicial objectives. The Democrats, for example, are honest about their litmus test — they only nominate pro-abortion judges. I believe that tests are not only valid, they are inescapable.

The issue, therefore, is not whether there should be a test, but which test is the right test. I would like to suggest that while there may be many secondary issues which may rightly be considered as part of a litmus test, there are two foundational, non-optional tests which always must apply to the selection of judges in the United States of America. The first test involves biblical requirements for judges. The second test concerns the Constitutional requirement of an oath of office to uphold the Constitution.

In my view, these tests are not in conflict with each other because American Christians are faced with the happy circumstance in which the guidelines established for the selection of justices by our national charter (the Constitution and its preamble, the Declaration of Independence) are not in conflict with what the transcendent Law given by “the Supreme Judge of the world”[20] declares concerning the duties and qualifications of judges. Thankfully, we are not faced with the choice of deciding between the revealed will of God, and the law of our nation when it comes to the selecting of justices.

It is important to note, however, that though the constitution indicates that denominational religious tests shall not be required, it does presuppose that office-holders will take oaths to God and enforce a document which acknowledges Him and is based largely on principles derived from His revealed law. The irony today is that Democrats and many Republicans have currently given us a constitution-denigrating religious test for Supreme Court nominees. It is this: “Men of faith who acknowledge the lawgiver need not apply.” This is a perversion of the Framer’s intent which was to prevent the Christian denominational tests found at the state level from applying to the selection of federal, God-acknowledging magistrates. Test One: Publicly Fearing, Trusting, Serving, and Acknowledging God as the Lawgiver

The first test comes from God’s revealed Word, the Holy Scripture. It is found throughout the Bible, but is beautifully summarized in Psalm 2 which declares:

Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

The test is this: Will the nominee publicly acknowledge and fear the God of Scripture as the lawgiver from whose revelation all valid laws of man are derived? It is important to note that Scripture, which communicates the transcendent law of God to all men at all times, reveals that all judges (regardless of their national background or preexisting law system) are bound to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ (the “Son”) and rule by his righteous commands. The First Commandment of the Ten Commandments is thus universally binding on men and nations. Judges are not only to acknowledge “the Son,” they are to have no other gods over the land than the God of Scripture.

While the Bible actually has much more to say about the proper selection of judges than the question of their acknowledgement of Him and submission to His lordship (including numerous character issues), the other requirements rest on this foundation. Apart from “kissing the Son,” no judge is truly qualified to serve, nor should a man who is defiant of the Son be nominated to the highest court in the land. Test Two: The Oath of Office and the Acknowledgement of God

The second test pertains to the Constitutional requirement which demands that a Supreme Court Justice take an oath to uphold the Constitution.[21]

The test, therefore, is this: Will the nominee uphold his oath of office taken before God to uphold the United States Constitution as written, based on the text itself as interpreted in light of the original intent of its authors.[22] The oath is the foundation of legitimacy for a Supreme Court Justice. The ability to understand this oath and the absolute commitment to abide by it are non-optional prerequisites of qualification for serving as Supreme Court Justice. The commitment to the oath is what distinguishes faithful men from tyrants. The existence of this oath is what distinguishes us as a nation of laws, rather than of men. The oath presupposes that the Document is to be interpreted in terms of objective standards, not evolving mores.

Consequently, nominees who believe in evolving standards of interpretation, or evolving standards of truth, are inherently disqualified from serving because they do not understand the oath and will not abide by its terms. This disqualification would also apply to those who believe that the Constitution may be re-interpreted based on the laws of foreign nations. Legitimate debates may ensue about the objective meaning of the text as drafted by its framers, but those who reject the text, who change the meaning of the text to accommodate social change, or who interpret the text using standards foreign to our charter and system of government can no more rule wisely on the Constitution, than an Olympic tennis referee who is determined to judge the contestants in his sport by the rules of water polo.

Finally, those justices who will not acknowledge God as the “Supreme Judge of the World,” or who would inhibit the acknowledgement of God from public office, are inherently disqualified from serving as judicial nominees for the United States Supreme Court for two reasons: First, they cannot maintain a valid oath of office, being incapable of swearing “so help me God” without blaspheming the name of God. Second, such individuals cannot and will not enforce the very Constitution which formally derives its powers, not merely from the people, but from the God of the Declaration and the Constitution, who delegates to freemen the right to be self-governing under Him — a fact which was boldly proclaimed by the authors of our national charter.

America is bound by a charter which is distinctively (though not perfectly) Christian. The Founders established for our nation a charter which begins by acknowledging God as lawgiver, proceeds to reference Him and appeal to Him, incorporates the common law system twice by reference[23] (a system built on the Ten Commandments and the case laws of Scripture), and ends by declaring Him Lord in the important subscription clause of the Constitution.[24] Consequently, one cannot understand or interpret the Constitution apart from a one thousand-year English common law system rooted in the laws of Moses and built upon the foundations of Christianity[25] which the Framers specifically adopted.

Simply put, those who would divorce the Lawgiver from the law are not merely disqualified from holding the highest judicial office in the land by Scripture, they are disqualified by virtue of the constitutional requirement that they uphold their oath to enforce the Constitution which presupposes this same Lawgiver. Alberto Gonzales Fails the Test

At this time, our prayers must be with the President as he selects a nominee to fill the seat of Sandra Day O’Connor. (In addition, late breaking news reports indicate that the resignation of Chief Justice William Rehnquist is imminent, thus giving President Bush the responsibility of placing two justices on the Court.) One specific prayer which Christians can offer with confidence is that the President would only nominate biblically and constitutionally qualified men. An example of a man who is being floated as a potential Supreme Court nominee, but who is both biblically and constitutionally disqualified, is current Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez.

Mr. Gonzalez has an unfortunate record of facilitating abortion[26] and endorsing the use of torture,[27] but the fundamental problem with the Attorney General is that he believes that the Supreme Court is a law unto itself, trumping both the transcendent moral law of God and the Constitution. Consequently, his beliefs are in conflict with the constitutional requirements that Supreme Court justices preserve the Constitution.

Gonzales is on record that Roe v. Wade should be upheld and enforced,[28] and that the Supreme Court, not the Constitution itself, is the Law of the Land. This last point was made crystal clear when he declared: “The constitution is whatever the Supreme Court says it is.”[29] This statement, often repeated by nominees for judicial office, is a declaration of war on the document itself by reducing our laws to the opinions of whatever group of tyrants and legal social Darwinists are in office at any given point in time. To put it another way, under Gonzalez’s theory of constitutional jurisprudence, were the Supreme Court to mandate child slavery, to require the forced euthanizing of people age thirty or older, or to legitimize marriage between man and animals, such declarations would be legitimate, accurate, and binding reflections of the Constitution, because the Supreme Court declared them to be so by fiat. Our Moment in History

It is time for Christians to once again assert objective and transcendent standards for the selection of our highest office holders. We are not at liberty to improvise on those standards when they do not fit our political objectives and short term vision for “success.” Our goal must be obedience. We must be God’s people in this nation, a holy remnant who insist that men and nations must acknowledge Him and no other God. Political pragmatism is fruitless. Dogmatic partisanship is destructive. In fact, more important than who is ultimately selected for this position on the Supreme Court, is how God’s people represented His interests before the magistrates of this land. Taking a principled stand may, in God’s providence, result in a temporary political loss, but refusing to take a principled stand will result in the long-term comprehensive loss of the blessing of God in our land and the joys of political freedom for our children. Our hope is in the Lord, a hope which we have no right to claim if we fear men more than Him.

[1] This was the question posed by federal judge Myron Thompson to Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in the oral arguments of Glassroth v. Moore, 229 F. Supp. 2d 1290, when Judge Thompson asked, “Can the state acknowledge God?” The answer he declared was “No.” Bill Pryor’s rise to fame was also built on his declaration that Roy Moore was “unrepentant” for insisting that he would acknowledge God, even when another court told him not to. See So Help Me God by Roy Moore.

[2] The Declaration of Independence.

[3] Genesis 18:23-33: “And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake. And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.”

[4] President Bush has appointed former Attorney General of Alabama William Pryor to the Federal District Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

[5] See “A Cup of Water for Terri, Part I” and “A Cup of Water for Terri, Part II” by Douglas W. Phillips.

[6] “In 2001, President Bush appointed the practicing homosexual Michael Guest to serve as America’s ambassador to Romania, a largely Catholic country. The U.S. Senate confirmed Guest’s appointment without any debate. When Guest was sworn in as ambassador, Sec. Powell publicly acknowledged Guest’s homosexual lover, Alex Nevarez, who sat onstage with Guest’s parents. Today, the two homosexuals live in sin and practice sodomy at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, all at taxpayers’ expense” (Michael Cooper, The Remnant, February 28, 2003).

[7] The Declaration of Independence: “We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

[8] The Declaration of Independence has been declared part of the organic law of the United States by “U.S.C.A. The Organic Laws of the United States of America Westlaw.”

[9] McCreary County vs. American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, et. al., No. 03-1693. Justice Souter, writing for the majority, said: “Nor do we have occasion here to hold that a sacred text can never be integrated constitutionally into a governmental display on the subject of law, or American history. We do not forget, and in this litigation have frequently been reminded, that our own courtroom frieze was deliberately designed in the exercise of governmental authority so as to include the figure of Moses holding tablets exhibiting a portion of the Hebrew text of the later, secularly phrased Commandments; in the company of 17 other lawgivers, most of them secular figures, there is no risk that Moses would strike an observer as evidence that the National Government was violating neutrality in religion.”

[10] Psalm 2:10-13: “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”

[11] Van Orden vs. Perry No. 03-1500. Chief Justice Rehnquist, writing for the majority, stated: “This case, like all Establishment Clause challenges, presents us with the difficulty of respecting both faces. Our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being, yet these institutions must not press religious observances upon their citizens. One face looks to the past in acknowledgment of our Nation’s heritage, while the other looks to the present in demanding a separation between church and state. Reconciling these two faces requires that we neither abdicate our responsibility to maintain a division between church and state nor evince a hostility to religion by disabling the government from in some ways recognizing our religious heritage.... The placement of the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds is a far more passive use of those texts than was the case in Stone, where the text confronted elementary school students every day. Indeed, Van Orden, the petitioner here, apparently walked by the monument for a number of years before bringing this lawsuit. The monument is therefore also quite different from the prayers involved in Schempp andLee vs. Weisman. Texas has treated her Capitol grounds monuments as representing the several strands in the State’s political and legal history. The inclusion of the Ten Commandments monument in this group has a dual significance, partaking of both religion and government. We cannot say that Texas’ display of this monument violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed.”

[12] Exodus 20:3,5: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”

[13] 1 Kings 21.

[14] Kelo v. City of New London (04-0108).

[15] Exodus 20:15,17: “Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

[16] On October 31, 2003, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor stated: “I suspect that over time we will rely increasingly, or take notice at least increasingly, on international and foreign courts in examining domestic issues” (“O’Connor: U.S. must rely on foreign law,” WorldNetDaily, October 31, 2003). See also “Justice Ginsburg and My Two Goats” (Douglas W. Phillips, August 8, 2003).

[17] I must give thanks to my father, Howard Phillips, the only former executive branch office holder who publicly opposed O’Connor’s nomination.

[18] Both O’Connor and Souter had records promoting abortion.

[19] All three were appointed by Republican Presidents: O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy were both appointed by President Ronald Reagan and Justice David Souter by President George Bush, Sr.

[20] The Declaration of Independence.

[21] Article. VI. Clause 3: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

[22] This would include the original signers and those who subsequently acted to amend the Document. The difficulty of this task does not nullify the duty to presuppose the integrity and coherence of the Document for purposes of interpretation and to be bound by the written text.

[23] U.S. Constitution, Amendment VII: “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.”

[24] U.S. Constitution, Article VII: “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same. Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names.”

[25] “No doubt there are many causes for this superiority; but in my humble opinion, the most important is that, while the Roman law was a deathbed convert to Christianity, the common law was a cradle Christian.” Fountain of Justice A Study in the Natural Law by John C.H. Wu Sheed and Ward New York 1955 Wu was a former Research Scholar at Harvard.

[26] As an associate Justice on the Texas Supreme Court, Alberto Gonzales voted to overturn a Texas Parental Notification law in 2000, giving a seventeen-year-old girl the ability to murder her child. (“Al Gonzales and Jane Doe” by Terrence Jeffrey, Human Events, 2001)

[27] In August 2002, as White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales helped prepare a memo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, “advising that torturing alleged al Qaeda terrorists in captivity abroad ‘may be justified’ and that international laws against torture ‘may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations’ conducted in the U.S. war on terrorism. Gonzales held a news briefing to distance himself from the memo after it became public, calling it, in part, ‘irrelevant and unnecessary’ and ‘overbroad.’” (“Gonzales Named to Succeed Ashcroft as Attorney General” by Dan Eggen, The Washington Post, November 11, 2004)

[28] As quoted in Human Events, posted July 6, 2005, an interview by Dr. Jack Willkie with Alberto Gonzales: “Q: Judge Gonzales, we’re hearing conflicting reports about your position on abortion. Can you tell us where you stand? A: As a judge, I have to make judgments in conformity with the laws of our nation. Q: Would you say that, regarding Roe vs. Wade, stare decisis would be governing here? [Note, stare decisis means that he would continue to uphold that decision because he would regard it as a binding precedent.] A: Yes.”

[29] Ibid. “Q: Judge Gonzales, it’s well known that the Clinton administration had a very clear and consistent litmus test in regard to judicial nominations. If that person was not pro-abortion, they were not nominated. In light of this, do you ask your nominees what their position is on abortion? A: No, we do not. We judge them on a very broad basis of conservatism and constitutional construction. Q: Many of us feel that the Constitution does not speak to permissive abortion. Would you comment? A: The Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is.”


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: judges; lawrencevtexas; scotus; supremecourt
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Offered for comment.
1 posted on 07/11/2005 9:37:18 AM PDT by Warhammer
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To: Warhammer
The defining legal issue of our generation is not the right to life or even the definition of the family, but whether the United States of America — through its laws, its charters, its magistrates, and its public institutions — can and will meaningfully acknowledge the God of the Bible.[1] The acknowledgment of God is the first principle of liberty, a fact which was recognized by the Founding Fathers who declared that “we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.”[2]
The short answer is that leaders may, acting as individuals, freely profess any and all religious beliefs, or none at all. This is protected in Article VI of the Constitution, which states that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Additionally, the First Amendment forbids Establishment of a state religion. Clearly this forbids the government from taking a position on whether or not the Bible was divinely inspired.

Note that despite the Declaration's references to a Creator, the Constitution is silent on the issue. Save the ambiguous matter of the date, there is no reference to the Bible or to any Deity or other divine figure.

-Eric

2 posted on 07/11/2005 9:49:30 AM PDT by E Rocc (Anyone who thinks Bush-bashing is banned on FR has never read a Middle East thread >:))
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To: Warhammer
I'm not sure where to start, so I will keep it short. This clearly shows the dangers of the extreme right to the future of the Republican Party. The author of this piece would most definitely support a theocracy in this Country. He takes us from a recognition of certain rights endowed by our creator in the Declaration of Independence all the way to subjegating the Constitution to the Bible. Along the way, he sets a course for outlawing not only homosexual acts but homosexuality itself in the US. He seems completely unaware of the First Amendment in a number of respects, and would without a doubt establish Christianity (of some sort) as the official religion of the country. He doesn't say what the status of the other faiths or non-faiths would be, but it should not be difficult to guess.

This is not a pretty picture, but many of the far right will support his position, and will be demoralized when they find out the Roy Moore is not on Bush's short list for the USSC.

3 posted on 07/11/2005 10:08:57 AM PDT by MACVSOG68
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To: Warhammer
As soon as I find a democrat who is more:

Pro-life

Pro-US Sovereignty

Pro-God (walking the walk, not just talking the talk)

Pro-family

than the republican he's running against I'll be happy to vote for him. I haven't seen one so far. I'd even happily pay higher taxes, well maybe not happily, to a democrat who will uphold these values. Sorry to say, the republicans haven't impressed me with their committment to the above values.

4 posted on 07/11/2005 10:16:20 AM PDT by Roos_Girl
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To: Warhammer
It is important to note, however, that though the constitution indicates that denominational religious tests shall not be required, it does presuppose that office-holders will take oaths to God and enforce a document which acknowledges Him and is based largely on principles derived from His revealed law.

It is important to note that this is complete balderdash. There is only one oath of office spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, and that is the oath of office taken by the President. And guess what? That oath doesn't mention God at all! There are plenty of other examples of bullhooey in this piece, but this one kinda jumped out.
5 posted on 07/11/2005 10:23:23 AM PDT by drjimmy
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To: E Rocc
Additionally, the First Amendment forbids Establishment of a state religion. Clearly this forbids the government from taking a position on whether or not the Bible was divinely inspired.

You are absiolutely correct. Men may have opinions on the divinity of the Bible or the truth of any of its tenets, but the government must remain apart from such concerns. Its concern is the worldly sphere, rhetorical flourishes aside.

Men may have any faith they chose, the government may not prefer any one.

6 posted on 07/11/2005 10:32:40 AM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: E Rocc
"Additionally, the First Amendment forbids Establishment of a state religion. Clearly this forbids the government from taking a position on whether or not the Bible was divinely inspired."

The Constitutional forbidding of CONGRESS (AND ONLY CONGRESS) to make any law (i.e. pass legislation) regarding the establishment of a religion was written so clearly and concisely that to glean from it that it would be illegal for a Court to display the Ten Commandments, or for a President to simply make reference to his fiath from the bully pulpit, or for a Supreme Court Justice to make legal decisions based primarily on his knowledge of law, but filtered through the same Christian morals and principles of the men who wrote those laws, is a vile and slanderous assertion.

The Founding Fathers were men, by-and-large, who beleived human laws originated from the Ten Commandments, (that is what was taught in law schools and universities of the times...and is still taught today). Though some of the Fathers adhered to no specific Christian denomination, virtually all of these men's hearts were steeped in Christian morals and principles, as their writings so often reveal. They were men whose minds were educated in Christian Universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and men whose faith was tested in the crucible of religious oppression in their country of origin. To assert these men would cringe at seeing the Ten Commandments in a Courtroom or City Hall, or would wince at seeing a Bible in a public classroom, or would rail over testing the legitimacy of abortion by applying it against Christian morals and values, is not only a vile stretch of the imagination, but a brazen slander of these men, and a dispicable revison of history.

All any honest man has to know about religion and the Constitution is that its authors and their successors in government office for the next 200 years frequently made public statements combining religion and government principles, they PROUDLY hung the Ten Commandment is Courts, City Halls, Public libraries and other government buildings from coast to coast.

The 1st Contintental Congress declared a "national day of prayer", and government gave SPECIAL STATUS to Churches by granting them immunity from taxes. President Truman, on a national radio address declared America to be "a Christian nation".

You tried to separate the Declaration of Independence from the Constitution, but you can't succeed in this treacherous endeavor. The good folks who constructed and signed both documents were one and the same men. Naturally, since they understood they were constructing a government, not a Church, they framed the Constitution in legal/secular terms. But their faith and the principles that guided and inspired them in their construction of the Constitution were forever imortalized on that great document, the Declaration of Independence. It tells us who they were, what they believed, what they fought for, what they wanted for their children and the country they founded.

That Christianity and the Christian God were often spoken about and written about by elected government officials, and public buildings were commonly adorned with Christian icons and references for about 200 straight years (before the atheists, anti-Christians and secularists began to revolt against our traditional way of life), is all the evidence any (honest) American really needs.

But alas, since government has been steadily abolishing Christianity from the eyes and ears of the public, honesty and personal integrity have been steadily burried along with God. ("but fear not, for He has risen", ---- and He will rise again).

(1). "To advance Learning and perpetuate it to Posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches." - Harvard
""Dei sub numine viget" (Under God's light she flourishes)"-Princeton

7 posted on 07/11/2005 11:28:42 AM PDT by TheCrusader (("the frenzy of the Mohammedans has devastated the churches of God" Pope Urban II)
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To: TheCrusader
You tried to separate the Declaration of Independence from the Constitution, but you can't succeed in this treacherous endeavor. The good folks who constructed and signed both documents were one and the same men.

Not true. Neither Hamilton and Madison, the two men most responsible for constructing the Constitution and getting it ratified, were in Congress for the signing of the Declaration.

The two documents bear the mark of very different hands.

8 posted on 07/11/2005 11:33:48 AM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Warhammer
We must be God’s people in this nation, a holy remnant who insist that men and nations must acknowledge Him and no other God.

This is pathetic. Obviously this guy couldn't care less about the Constitution, so why would anyone care about his opinions regarding who should or shouldn't be on the Court? Why did you even post this?

9 posted on 07/11/2005 11:39:31 AM PDT by Sandy
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To: Sandy

Wow, Sandy. You were able to read much farther than I was.

I agree. It's pathetic. It's also antithetical to what the Founders of this great nation wanted, which makes it un-American.


10 posted on 07/11/2005 12:01:57 PM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: TheCrusader
You tried to separate the Declaration of Independence from the Constitution, but you can't succeed in this treacherous endeavor. The good folks who constructed and signed both documents were one and the same men.

Actually there were only 6 men who signed both documents.

11 posted on 07/11/2005 12:07:45 PM PDT by Sandy
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To: highball
Actually, I read this article (well, parts of it) more sympathetically. And I'm a "god damned atheist." Really.

While I am as certain that there is no God, just as certain as I presume the Pope is that there is a God, still I am certain that there is a moral truth, that we should all seek out and follow. And I recognize that some of the world's great religions (I do not count Islam among such) have led more people to seek that truth than any other way has. I live in a nation founded by Christians and like minded souls. I am proud and delighted that this is so. No one asks or mandates that I hold the same religion. But my fellow citizens do (or should, or once did) expect that I act in a responsible and moral fashion. As well they should.

When I see the word "God" I tend, rather unconsciously, to read it as "the Moral Truth", and see what sense I can make of a writing that way.

I will grant that the author of this piece probably didn't intend that meaning. But so read, it makes decent sense to me. It hits on the basic issue that divides us, whether the ultimate source of the best truth available is each man's own thoughs and feelings, or whether the truth exists a priori, for us to discover as best we can.

The hallmark of "Political Correctness" is the claim that one man's viewpoint is worth as much as the next. In other words, that there is no Truth which can distinguish between a terrorist and an innocent, between tyranny and freedom.

Janice Rogers Brown described it a whole lot better than I can. See her speech Fifty Ways to Lose Your Freedom,” Speech to the Institute for Justice, Washington, D.C. (August 12, 2000).

I suspect that she too believes in God. I sure hope so, and I hope Bush appoints her to the Supreme Court. She gets it -- good. I tend to only support and vote for public officers who follow a Christian or similar religion. Us atheists have made almost a big a botch of things as have the muslims. We are both an embarrassment to humanity, and a danger to civilization.

12 posted on 07/11/2005 1:21:12 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow (To err is human; to moo is bovine.)
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To: E Rocc
The short answer is that leaders may, acting as individuals, freely profess any and all religious beliefs, or none at all. This is protected in Article VI of the Constitution, which states that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Huh? What is protected? Just because there can be no religious test, does not mean they have to check their religion at the door. You have a very extreme and misguided interpretation of that.

13 posted on 07/11/2005 1:26:32 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: E Rocc

It is funny how our founding fathers always said prayers before meeting and made numerous reference to God and even Christ in official speeches, but the intellectuals of today seem to think the Founders really did not know what they were doing since what they were doing was unConstitutional by the very same Constitution the Founders wrote.


14 posted on 07/11/2005 1:29:24 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: Always Right

Politicians today can still make reference to Christ in official speeches. Even Clinton did that.

But when it came to the document that actually created this nation - the Constitution - they kept God and Christ out of it. Why do you suppose that was?


15 posted on 07/11/2005 1:36:57 PM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Warhammer

Later read/pingout?


16 posted on 07/11/2005 1:37:18 PM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
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To: highball

It is nothing short of lunacy. Not very rare, though.


17 posted on 07/11/2005 1:39:23 PM PDT by lugsoul ("She talks and she laughs." - Tom DeLay)
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To: highball
But when it came to the document that actually created this nation - the Constitution - they kept God and Christ out of it. Why do you suppose that was?

They kind of gave it away in the First Amendment, they did not want the Federal Government establishing a religion. But that has been twisted to the point where a student goes to jail if they say the word Jesus in a Graduation Speech. How twisted is that since the very same Constitution grants freedom of religious expression. Current case law on this subject is preverted beyond repair.

18 posted on 07/11/2005 1:41:28 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: ThePythonicCow
At the bottom of another FR post today I see a nice statement of what I was trying to say. In the post Ten Conservative Principles (Russell Kirk), the last paragraph is:
19 posted on 07/11/2005 1:42:03 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow (To err is human; to moo is bovine.)
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To: Always Right

"a student goes to jail if they say the word Jesus in a Graduation Speech"

I'm not familiar with that case. Which one was that?

I don't think it's twisted to recognize that men may have religious beliefs but a government cannot favor one belief over another. That's the very foundation of religious freedom.


20 posted on 07/11/2005 1:50:16 PM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: highball
Here is one case, she did not go to jail but only because she followed the court order:

Guidry v. Broussard (1990) A high school valedictorian planned to devote a portion of her graduation speech to the importance of Jesus Christ in her life. The principal ordered her to remove the offending portion; she refused and was eliminated from the graduation program. The district court and the court of appeals upheld the principal’s action.

21 posted on 07/11/2005 1:58:32 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: Always Right
"a student goes to jail if they say the word Jesus in a Graduation Speech"

I'm not gonna be as generous as highball. I'm calling this one what it is - an outright lie.

22 posted on 07/11/2005 1:58:59 PM PDT by lugsoul ("She talks and she laughs." - Tom DeLay)
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To: MACVSOG68
The author of this piece would most definitely support a theocracy in this Country.

Did the author actually call for church and state to be combined into one institution, making it illegal for anyone to profess another religion other than Christianity? I haven't finished reading it yet, but I doubt it.

23 posted on 07/11/2005 2:02:18 PM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: lugsoul
I'm not gonna be as generous as highball. I'm calling this one what it is - an outright lie.

You ought to cut people who disagree with you a little bit of slack. It isn't right to question people's motives that way. Maybe next time it will be you with slightly inaccurate information. You wouldn't want to be called a liar. In any case, Always Right's comment was uncomfortably close to reality:

"In the May 1995 case of Jane Doe v. Santa Fe Independent School District, Federal District Judge Samuel Kent placed severe restrictions on voluntary, student-initiated prayer. Additionally, Judge Kent ruled voluntary, student-initiated prayer at graduation ceremonies and athletic events was permissible only with court-ordered restrictions on the content of prayer.

In his oral opinion, Judge Kent stated: "And make no mistake, the Court is going to have a U.S. Marshall in attendance at the graduation. If any student offends this Court, that student will be summarily arrested and face up to 6 months incarceration in the Galveston County jail..." Judge Kent went on to say: "Anybody who violates these orders, no kidding, is going to wish he or she had died as a child when this court gets through with them."

http://txgop.org/newsroom/newsDisplay.php?id=103

24 posted on 07/11/2005 2:45:22 PM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: Zack Nguyen
Did the author actually call for church and state to be combined into one institution, making it illegal for anyone to profess another religion other than Christianity? I haven't finished reading it yet, but I doubt it.

No, he called for the secular institution of government to be subservient to the Christian Bible, and specifically to the Ten Commandments. That alone makes it a theocracy. But he added a few tidbits to ensure its meaning:

Finally, those justices who will not acknowledge God as the “Supreme Judge of the World,” or who would inhibit the acknowledgement of God from public office, are inherently disqualified from serving as judicial nominees for the United States Supreme Court

Will the nominee publicly acknowledge and fear the God of Scripture as the lawgiver from whose revelation all valid laws of man are derived? It is important to note that Scripture, which communicates the transcendent law of God to all men at all times, reveals that all judges (regardless of their national background or preexisting law system) are bound to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ (the “Son”) and rule by his righteous commands.

Simply put, those who would divorce the Lawgiver from the law are not merely disqualified from holding the highest judicial office in the land by Scripture, they are disqualified by virtue of the constitutional requirement that they uphold their oath to enforce the Constitution which presupposes this same Lawgiver.

It is time for Christians to once again assert objective and transcendent standards for the selection of our highest office holders. We are not at liberty to improvise on those standards when they do not fit our political objectives and short term vision for “success.” Our goal must be obedience. We must be God’s people in this nation, a holy remnant who insist that men and nations must acknowledge Him and no other God.

You may not see the point of this, but most would see this as the clear desire for the establishment of a theocracy, with the Bible as final law over the land, just as those Muslim countries that do have secular government still ensure that it is in compliance with the Koran. Neither of these was contemplated by the founding fathers, and the vast majority of this Country will not accept anything like that here.

25 posted on 07/11/2005 3:03:54 PM PDT by MACVSOG68
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The [first] test is this: Will the nominee publicly acknowledge and fear the God of Scripture as the lawgiver from whose revelation all valid laws of man are derived?
This is not necessary. The position of Supreme Court justice is of one to interpret the Constitution, not the Bible or Christian theology. There is sufficient documentation from the period that, when coupled with one's intuition, to come to a reasonable approximation of what the Founders had in mind when they drafted and ratified the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I think one may recognize the influence of the Bible on the Constitution, but it is not necessary for a justice to be born again to properly interpret the document.
26 posted on 07/11/2005 3:04:03 PM PDT by jayhorn (when i hit the drum, you shake the booty.)
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To: Sandy
"Actually there were only 6 men who signed both documents."

Thanks, that's good enough to make my point.

27 posted on 07/11/2005 4:00:01 PM PDT by TheCrusader (("the frenzy of the Mohammedans has devastated the churches of God" Pope Urban II)
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To: Warhammer
"Offered for comment."

Frightening!

28 posted on 07/11/2005 4:11:17 PM PDT by wireman
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To: Warhammer

'The United States Supereme(sic)Court's War on the Sovereignty of God'

Prediction: God wins.


29 posted on 07/11/2005 4:19:38 PM PDT by xone
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To: highball
"Neither Hamilton and Madison, the two men most responsible for constructing the Constitution and getting it ratified, were in Congress for the signing of the Declaration."

Do I take this to mean they wouldn't have signed it, and that they weren't like-minded with the Declaration signers? Does this mean that the Founding Fathers would not have framed our Constitutional laws strictly on the basis of the freedoms and values that the Delcaration of Independence espouses?

I hope you don't mean this, because nothing could be further from the truth.

The original reason for my post was to prove that the Framers would not have wanted to separate religion from government in the manner being perpetrated on us by government today: The First Amendment was clearly understood and explained by the man who wrote it and the man who first applied it as law. Fisher Ames wrote the First Amendment. He also wrote that the Bible should always remain the principle text book in America's classrooms.


"Before the formation of this Constitution this Declaration of Independence was received and ratified by all the States in the Union, and has never been disannulled". Samual Adams
The Constitution itself connects itself to the Declaration of Independence by dating itself from the date of the Declaration of Independence, thereby showing clearly that it is the second great document in the government of these United States and is not to be understood without the first.

The Founders dated all their government acts from the year of the Declaration rather than the Constitution. The date of the Declaration of Independence was the recognized date of Sovereignty and Independence of the United States.

In the Declaration, the Founders established the foundation and the core values on which the Constitution was to operate. The Constitution was never to be interpreted apart from those values expressed in the Declaration.


The U.S. Supreme Court declared on at least several occassions, (below) that it's unsafe to separate the Declaration from the Constitution:

, "the Constitution is the body and letter of which the Declaration of Independence is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence" U.S. Supreme Court, Gulf, C. & S. F. R. CO. v. Ellis, 165 U.S. 150 (1897)

"The first official action of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. "----it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence". SCOTUS, Cotting v. Godard, 183 U.S. 79 (1901)


"It is to be remembered, that the government of the United States is based on the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence, by the congress of 1776; "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and that to secure these rights, governments are instituted." 1841, The Amistad, 40 U.S. 518 (1841)


"History will also afford frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion...and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern." Benjamin Franklin



30 posted on 07/11/2005 4:53:37 PM PDT by TheCrusader (("the frenzy of the Mohammedans has devastated the churches of God" Pope Urban II)
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To: TheCrusader

You are free to twist it all you want. The fact that you must tie yourself into such knots illustrates the folly of your argument. The Founders wanted to keep faith and state separate, Hamilton perhaps more so than any other. And since Hamilton is largely the one responsible for our Constitution, I defer to his judgment.


31 posted on 07/11/2005 8:40:46 PM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: lugsoul
I'm not gonna be as generous as highball. I'm calling this one what it is - an outright lie.

Oh blow it out your butt. You think it is far fetched that someone goes to jail for saying a prayer? The ACLU recently filed a motion to do just that. We haven't got there yet, but we within a few years it will happen:

Christians Could be Sent to Jail for Praying in School
6/10/2005
By Mario Diaz

In their latest attack on Christianity, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a motion to hold Tangipahoa school board officials in Louisiana in contempt of court, asking they be jailed for praying in schools.

The Tangipahoa school board and the ACLU of Louisiana entered into an agreement, made public in an August 27, 2004, District Court Consent Judgment, which required school officials to prohibit “invocations given prior to athletic events,” “participation and/or encouragement by school officials in pre-game and post-game prayers involving student athletes,” and “invocations by students to the student body over the school’s public address system during assemblies or at any school sponsored event.” The ACLU claims school officials have violated the agreement on multiple occasions. This motion is the fourth complaint they’ve filed against the school board.

Even though this is considered a civil matter, the ACLU has asked the court to hold school officials in criminal contempt, asking for jail time. “Their refusal to comply with the Consent Decree should and must result in their removal from society—removal for a period of time sufficient to impress upon them, and like imitators, the seriousness of the Court’s order,” reads the complaint. “Anything short of actual imprisonment would be ineffective to sending that message to these individuals.”

32 posted on 07/11/2005 9:56:14 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: MACVSOG68

Thanks for quoting that portion to make your point. Were I voting for Supreme Court justices, I would definitely favor those who acknowledge God as sovereign over those that do not. I think our freedoms are much safer that way. Elected officials that believe they are ultimately accountable to God will respect our freedoms and liberties, and also respect the law, much better.

But keep in mind that true Christian teaching (that is, what is consistent with the Bible) understands Christian belief is an individual thing. It is personal. It is anathema to the Christian to think that any government should force anyone to believe something. Everyone must come to Christ, seeking forgiveness of their sins and a new life, on his own.

That is one of the many differences between Christianity and Islam. Even in Islamic states that are not radically jihadist, Christians often are persecuted. There is no inner rebirth in Islam, no personal conversion. It is a religion of works, of physical acts of obedience. Therefore there is no real reason why they shouldn't use government to force this obedience. That is why democracy has such a hard time over there.


33 posted on 07/12/2005 6:47:19 AM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: Always Right

Ugh - that is awful.


34 posted on 07/12/2005 6:50:08 AM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: Zack Nguyen
But keep in mind that true Christian teaching (that is, what is consistent with the Bible) understands Christian belief is an individual thing. It is personal. It is anathema to the Christian to think that any government should force anyone to believe something.

That is as it should be. But it is far from many in this nation who favor Christianity as an official religious philosophy. There are quite a few here on this forum who favor a theocracy here. I am referring both to Catholics as well as other Christians.

That is one of the many differences between Christianity and Islam. Even in Islamic states that are not radically jihadist, Christians often are persecuted. There is no inner rebirth in Islam, no personal conversion. It is a religion of works, of physical acts of obedience. Therefore there is no real reason why they shouldn't use government to force this obedience. That is why democracy has such a hard time over there.

I understand the differences you are painting between the two, and right now they are as you have said, but history shows how any religious ideology can move into the political spectrum if permitted. Just look at the Church of Rome in the Crusades, the Holy Roman Empire, France, Spain, the Inquisitions. Christianity is now and should be as you say a very personal thing. But the separation of Church and State philosophy was created to prevent the kinds of things that can happen when religious ideologues get in control.

The first step in that slippery slope is for religious tests of any kind for our justices or any other government official. Once you permit that, you are placing Christianity (or some other religion) in a policy-making position.

35 posted on 07/12/2005 7:04:36 AM PDT by MACVSOG68
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To: MACVSOG68

I've been on this fourm awhile, and I don't see the calls for theocracy as you do. I'll tell you what I think. I would like to see Christianity, through the democratic process of the grassroots voting their preferences, be the predominant ethic in our culture including our government.

This will take a lot of evangelism, and a lot of work. But our nation was overwhelmingly Christian when it was founded, and it was more free that anywhere on earth. Today it is less Christian that in has ever been, and is now less free and more socialistic. I believe there is a causal relationship here.

But politics aside, Christianity starts with a person acknowledging their sinful nature before God. Christ came to forgive and to heal. Government has no part in that other than to get out of the way.


36 posted on 07/12/2005 7:19:38 AM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: Zack Nguyen

Thanks for a post. I knew there was a case where the court threatend to jail students.


37 posted on 07/12/2005 7:30:16 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: highball
I'm not familiar with that case. Which one was that?

See posts 24 and 32.

38 posted on 07/12/2005 7:35:07 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Always Right
Thank you. I saw those. As I said, I wasn't familiar with it.

While that is indeed disturbing, it doesn't change my central point: It isn't twisted to recognize that men may have religious beliefs but a government cannot favor one belief over another. That's the very foundation of religious freedom.

39 posted on 07/12/2005 7:55:25 AM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Zack Nguyen
I've been on this fourm awhile, and I don't see the calls for theocracy as you do.

I have been on a thread recently here relating to "Is Europe Dying?" The Freeper I have been in lengthy discussions with openly prefers theocracy to democracy. A year or two ago, I was on several threads relating to the religious movement to secede and establish a Christian nation. At that time I ran into a number of posters who were clearly pro-theocracy (at least to the point where the Bible was the principal and supreme law). As for now, anyone who subscribes to a Christian test for any justice or other official in effect subscribes to a theocracy.

I'll tell you what I think. I would like to see Christianity, through the democratic process of the grassroots voting their preferences, be the predominant ethic in our culture including our government.

This is the slippery slope I refer to. It will ultimately not end until there is an official religion in this Country, Christianity. And then of course, the battle begins for which Christian religion takes precedence. And what of Islam, or any of the other non-Christian religions. If religion is a religion of and for the individual as you say, why does it have to permeate our government and its policies?

But our nation was overwhelmingly Christian when it was founded, and it was more free that anywhere on earth.

True, and before the First Amendment, it was moving precipitously towards theocracy. Almost every nation-state within the Confederation between 1776 and 1789 had Christian only tests for government officials. When you exclude members of society from the government for religious reasons, you create artificial classes within the nation. Forcing Christianity on folks is not the way to salvation for either the people or the nation.

Today it is less Christian that in has ever been, and is now less free and more socialistic. I believe there is a causal relationship here.

History would not agree with you. First Christianity is by far the most populous religion in the US and the world. It outnumbers the next by almost a 2 to 1 margin. You are correct in that Christianity in the US has dropped from 97% in 1900 to about 85% now. But the population of the US is still by far Christian! Yes, it's more socialistic, but that's pretty easily explained by a USSC that was stacked by FDR for that very purpose. As for a freer nation, you may want to provide some examples.

Finally, like the other poster I have been discussing Europe with, he tends to correlate a drop in the population rate with a drop in Christianity. That is a fallacy of logic. The two may or may not be correlated, but simply showing two facts occurring at the same time does not create a cause and effect relationship. Both the changes in America and those in Europe are far too complex for that.

But politics aside, Christianity starts with a person acknowledging their sinful nature before God. Christ came to forgive and to heal. Government has no part in that other than to get out of the way.

We agree completely.

40 posted on 07/12/2005 8:40:50 AM PDT by MACVSOG68
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To: MACVSOG68

"The Handmaid's Tale"


41 posted on 07/12/2005 9:07:44 AM PDT by dljordan
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To: dljordan
"The Handmaid's Tale"

Fiction perhaps, but not so unrealistic.

42 posted on 07/12/2005 9:39:06 AM PDT by MACVSOG68
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To: highball
It isn't twisted to recognize that men may have religious beliefs but a government cannot favor one belief over another. That's the very foundation of religious freedom.

That is a very extreme interpretation of our Constitution that has only been adapted recently. It is being used ban public display of religious expression that has any connection with Government. And now that government consumes about 40% of the GDP, that adds up to a huge ban. Not establishing a religion and not showing any favoritism are two different things in my book.

43 posted on 07/12/2005 10:01:22 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Always Right

If the Founding Fathers wanted the government to be able to show favoritism, they could well have done so.

The Constitution enumerates and limits the powers of the government. Nowhere does it give the the government the power to prefer one faith over another. You can say my interpretation is "modern," but you can't change that fact.

Why do you suppose the Founders didn't give any indication that the government has the power to endorse a religion, as you claim?


44 posted on 07/12/2005 10:15:21 AM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: MACVSOG68
he called for the secular institution of government to be subservient to the Christian Bible, and specifically to the Ten Commandments. That alone makes it a theocracy.

No it doesn't. We are still a Nation Under God, despite your wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The Founders understood that no laws should be suffered that violate the Laws of Nature and Nature's God. They also understood that man's duty to God is pre-eminent.

45 posted on 07/12/2005 10:23:40 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

"They also understood that man's duty to God is pre-eminent."

Man's duty, not the duty of governments. They were wise enough to recognize the distinction.


46 posted on 07/12/2005 10:47:07 AM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: MACVSOG68
A couple of quick points - it is Christian theology to hold that God is the ultimate, supreme judge. At the end of time, you and I and every person that has ever lived will be judged. We will be judged by God's standard, the only true and legitimate one.

That's why the Civil Rights movement pointed to the God of the Bible in making their case for equality. That's why we point today to the God of the Bible when making our case for the unborn or religious freedom. So God is the ultimate judge, and we know what God's values are through His Bible. So as I said before I would certainly favor judges that recognize God's sovereignty, because I think my freedoms are much safer that way.

If religion is a religion of and for the individual as you say, why does it have to permeate our government and its policies?

That's a great question, and goes to the heart of where you and I disagree. Receiving Christ must be done individually. Acceptance or rejection of Christ's forgiveness is a personal decision. Yet God's jurisdiction does not end in the human heart. His jurisdiction is the whole world which He created. Once they believe, Christ orders his followers to bring their Christianity to bear into every aspect of their lives. Thus Christians are, as Christ said, "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world." Christians are everywhere, and are doing everything. When we are following Christ, everything we do should be for His glory. Thus Christianity is personal, but not private. That is why I am involved in politics explicitly as a Christian. I could not do otherwise and remain true to my Lord.

But the population of the US is still by far Christian!

I very much disagree. The statistics you site prove only that a sizable number of people attend church or claim to "be a Christian." It does not prove that even a majority of Christians have explicitly asked for forgiveness through Jesus Christ and been born again. That is what a Christian is, regardless of what people say. The United States is more secular humanist now than at any time in its history. That it still remains the most Christian-influenced society on earth really isn't saying much. The fundamental premise from which we as a culture reason is humanistic and Darwinist to the core. Our loss of freedoms to socialism can be tied directly to this as well, I believe.

A year or two ago, I was on several threads relating to the religious movement to secede and establish a Christian nation.

I don't take that sort of thing too terribly seriously.

47 posted on 07/12/2005 10:47:24 AM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: Tailgunner Joe

"They also understood that man's duty to God is pre-eminent."

Man's duty, not the duty of governments. They were wise enough to recognize the distinction.


48 posted on 07/12/2005 10:47:25 AM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: highball
Why do you suppose the Founders didn't give any indication that the government has the power to endorse a religion, as you claim?

Who said endorse? It is wrong for the government to ban individuals from expressing their religious views, and that is what is being done today. The majority is being silence under the guise of offending some minority. That is not what our country was founded on.

49 posted on 07/12/2005 11:12:42 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Tailgunner Joe
No it doesn't. We are still a Nation Under God, despite your wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Well, my teeth are all intact and I don't recall any wailing, but one thing I notice about the extremists anywhere is the degree that they resort to overstatement.

As for whether or not requiring specific Christian litmus tests pertaining to the Bible or the Ten Commandments leads to theocracy, I wonder what you would say if a USSC justice were required to proclaim the Koran as supreme and that Allah is the God to whom they commit his fealty.

The Founders understood that no laws should be suffered that violate the Laws of Nature and Nature's God. They also understood that man's duty to God is pre-eminent.

And they also knew from personal experience the dangers inherent in such things as "tests" for higher office. And thank God they were wise enough to keep the government out of it and let man maintain his duty to God. The two are not in conflict, but only when a person wants to infuse the government with particular religious principles and requirements for its officials.

50 posted on 07/12/2005 11:13:08 AM PDT by MACVSOG68
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