God save the honorable Supreme Court
March 17, 2005
Somehow the Ten Commandments engraved on the Supreme Court’s entrance and exits, or Moses holding the Ten Commandments in Hebrew script inside the chambers, have not established a religion.
The U.S. Supreme Court two weeks ago heard arguments in back-to-back cases from Texas and Kentucky involving whether Ten Commandments displays on public property cross the line of “separation of church and state.” It was the court’s first consideration of the issue since 1980, when the Justices ruled the Ten Commandments could not be displayed in public schools. Let’s never forget that the words “separation of church and state” do NOT appear anywhere in our Constitution.
If the Justices need guidance, they should merely look over their heads.
One cannot enter the National Archives, either, to see the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution without first noticing the Ten Commandments posted at the entrance.
Moses occupies a central position in the U.S. House Chamber, and he faces forward, and perched over the chief justice’s seat, in a frieze with Moses carrying a tablet with the Commandments written in Hebrew, at the U.S. Supreme Court.
When the Founding Fathers wrote the First Amendment, they said that “Congress” shall make no laws regarding the establishment of religion, meaning any particular religion. It says nothing about the states. Regarding Congress and religion, it also says Congress shall make no laws restricting the free exercise thereof.
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A careful reading of the Constitution and an examination of American history itself would lead one to conclude that Thomas Jefferson, author of the phrase “separation of church and state,” and his fellow patriots did not intend to prohibit the Texas legislature from having a 6-foot-high monument depicting the Ten Commandments on its grounds, or two Kentucky courthouses having framed posters of the Commandments on their walls.
Anyone who wants to know what the Founding Fathers intended with their words should analyze their actions. As Yale professor Jon Butler writes, “The 1780 Massachusetts constitution authorized ‘towns, parishes, precincts and other bodies politic’ to levy taxes “for the institution of public worship of God, and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality.” Or, one could read all of The Federalist Papers.
Connecticut and New Hampshire had similar laws. Virginia, on the other hand, moved rapidly after the Revolutionary War to disestablish the Anglican church and separate the state from formal religious institutions.
Curiously, no framer of the Constitution ever declared that Massachusetts, with its state-supported religious education, or Virginia, with its official secularism, were guilty of violating the First Amendment or any other fundamental constitutional principle.
The First Amendment and religion aside, can you say “states’ rights?” Those are in our Constitution, too.
The word “God” appears nowhere in the Constitution, but was obviously on the minds of those who wrote the document, as evidenced by the Declaration of Independence, when the signers observed that we are endowed, not by government, but by the ” Creator” with the “inalienable rights.”
The phrase “separation of church and state” again, appears nowhere in the Constitution. But in a letter he wrote in 1802 to a group of Danbury Baptists, Jefferson assured them that the First Amendment prohibited Congress from establishing a national church, such as the Church of England.
It did not, however, prohibit government association with religion, and was not intended to be used as club to drive all signs of religion from public life. Indeed, on the very next day after the first Congress passed the First Amendment, it set aside a national day of prayer and Thanksgiving. Read that again.
Somehow, our nation has done just fine with all the Commandments, Moses statues, biblical references, manger scenes, and crosses and stars of David in military cemeteries and on war memorials, for OVER 200 YEARS.
Why is this a problem all of a sudden, over the last generation? It’s NOT a problem, for true patriots; those who want to preserve and protect our way of life. It is a very BIG problem for those who want to DESTROY our way of life, and change the way things are.
Why is it a big problem for them? Elimination of any and all religious expression is one of the very bulwarks of the successful establishment of COMMUNISM. If you think I’m crazy, then just read “The Communist Manifesto,” or any other socialist work at all, written by Marx, Engels, Stalin, Mao, etc.
Why eliminate religious expression? All the authors of all the socialist works I’ve ever read all say the same thing, and they state it plainly: For a people to become enslaved, they must not be permitted to believe in any “higher power,” they must be trained to worship the STATE as their one and only ‘higher power.’
The above is NOT an OPINION of mine; it is a statement of FACT.
Moses, the Ten Commandments, etc., have stood for many centuries: much longer than any human now living, much longer than our founders lived, much longer than OUR country, or any country, has ever stood. No one alive today is as wise as the least of Jesus, Moses, Abraham, or any of our founders. No one.
So, in the big scheme of things, to whom should we, and the Court, look for wisdom, in settling this matter? If it’s not anyone alive today, and it isn’t, then it must be someone who’s now dead. You pick.
This country was founded by people fleeing the same religious persecution exhibited by those now determined to drive every expression of faith, however innocuous, from the public square. You all think real hard about this.
– Robert Balfanz is a Stateline resident.
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