In 2008, the Gannett newspaper reported on Retired Judges of America’s dedication of a “Harlan Bible” to the 42nd Judicial District Court in Desoto Parish. “History was made and remembered today as the first district attorney and first judges to represent the newly created 42nd Judicial District of DeSoto Parish received their formal oaths of office,” said the article, the entirety of which is located here.
District Judges Robert E. Burgess and Charles B. Adams [see letter of acknowledgment] were sworn in and enthusiastically received the Bible.
Retired Judge Darrell White will again visit Desoto Parish this Sunday for an Independence Day Celebration.
He will join Louisiana College Pressler School of Law Dean Mike Johnson at the “Bring America Back to God” Community-Wide Rally for Liberty.
The Rally will take place on Sunday, July 3rd from 7 to 9 PM at Southside Baptist Church in Mansfield, Louisiana and is sponsored by Louisiana College and Desoto Parish Churches.
Judge White and Dean Johnson will address the question: What has gone wrong in America and how can we FIX IT?
A printable flier for the rally is below. Please plan to attend if you are in the area.
Guest Post by Pastor Tim Grant
The Fathers House International Ministries, Inc.
Integrity Leadership Group LLC
It is now well past May 21st and we are still here! Yet another “declaration of the end” has come and gone. Regardless of doctrine, denomination or affiliation, the church has become increasingly focused on “the end.” When will it all come to an end? Are you sure it will end? How will it end? These are but a few of the questions that have been asked and answered again and again over time. My question is, “How many of us are ready to declare a ‘beginning?’”
Nearly 235 years ago, on July 4th, 1776 our forefathers ended something; then declared a new beginning! This declaration was made on behalf of themselves, their families, their countrymen and the many generations that would follow in their footsteps. Today many celebrate the memory of this day as “Independence Day.” Yet I wonder how many of the 310 million people in our country actually understand the real significance of our Day of Independence?
I was discussing our country and its spiritual condition one day with a mentor and he spoke these words to me: “There has to be a revelation (a revealing of something) that will cause a revolution (a revolving or a turning FROM something TO something) that brings a reformation (a re-formation, a reforming of something). This thought also makes me think of the word “renovation.” I am no contractor or builder, but I do understand that part of the process of renovating a structure is the “tearing out” of all that is “bad” and replacing it with that which is “good.”
As my mentor said these words, I could not help but think about our “declarers of independence!” In order to better understand the true significance of July 4th, 1776 and all it really means to us, I decided to read, again, our “Unanimous Declaration of Independence.” I was determined to put myself back into their day and that time and read it through the eyes and hearts of those who crafted and signed this divinely inspired document. As I read, I was captured by some of the phrases such as: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” “… endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and “…whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers…to effect their Safety and Happiness.” This time, as I read, I became tearfully passionate for our country, our future and our own generation.
My angst is more with myself as a pastor and with other shepherds of His flock. We must be more aggressive in informing and educating the people within our sphere of influence. Someone once said, “Ignorance is no excuse.” We need to admit our ignorance. After all, true ignorance, by definition, is the reason revelation even exists! The battle over ill-conceived perceptions, apathy, ignorance, perversion and hatred of the truth is being fought in our homes and in our republic on a daily basis. Only after admittance and true repentance can we begin to turn from our present state towards a place where we, as ONE people, can be re-formed!
I encourage all who read this to go and read or re-read the Declaration of Independence. Read it slowly. Read it purposefully. And read it with the understanding that how we define words will make all the difference in how we perceive their true meaning. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and reveal to you the truths that have always been the foundation of your existence as a Citizen of the United States of America. The foundation upon which this nation was built is what is being destroyed; piece by piece.
If you are a church leader, don’t just encourage God’s people to get involved, inspire them! If you are part of a church body, decide this day that you will be the inspiration that is needed in your church! Pray for revelation, then turn.
2 Chron. 7:14 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (KJV). Our re-formation depends on it!
“The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good is essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man.”
– James Madison
On Constitution Day 2010, Retired Judge Darrell White addressed classes at two different schools in Baton Rouge. Pictured here is Judge White with an elementary class at Highland Elementary and below, he is speaking to students at Buchanan Elementary School. The students learned more about the U.S. Constitution today!
We are gearing up for our trip to the Texas State Judicial Conference next week. If you’re in Corpus Christi on Wednesday, come on out and visit our booth!
Prayers at graduation ceremonies are in the news again as a federal judge has ruled that the First Amendment’s “non-establishment” clause forbids even student-initiated supplications.
The federal judge’s last sentence of the article linked above [“We don’t put the Constitution to a vote,”] illustrates an important distinction between pure democracy and the rule of law under a constitutional republic. But it neglects the crucial point that, as ACLU co-founder Justice Felix Frankfurter once acknowledged,
“The ultimate touchstone of constitutionality is the Constitution and not what we [the justices] have said about it.” -Felix Frankfurter, concurring in Graves v. New York, 306 US 466, 491-2 (1939)
We may take comfort from the assurance of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the “separation of church and state” metaphor that has so clouded First Amendment jurisprudence: “Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally.”
It was Justice Byron White who recently noted that “The Court is most vulnerable and comes nearest to illegitimacy when it deals with judge-made constitutional law [sic] having little or no recognizable roots in the language or design of the Constitution.”
Small wonder that recent polling suggests that 77% of Americans believe our courts have gone too far in restricting free exercise of religion; 76% support public displays of Ten Commandments; and 90% support keeping “one nation under God” in our Pledge.
Founder and Patriot John Adams once remarked to Governor Dickinson that “We Americans are not to be conjured out of our senses by the words ‘British Empire’ as we know that Britain is a constitutional monarchy.”
Similarly, we Americans today are not to be “conjured out of our senses” by the words “separation of church and state.” Let’s continue to defend our Constitution’s text and heritage as we stand for “separation of atheism and state.”
As George Orwell once observed, “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” AJA’s point in calling attention to America’s “Organic Laws” is to espouse the obvious reality contained in our Declaration of Independence – that is, that law comes from God and the self-evident reality of objective truth. In other words, the inscription on America’s coins is the “National Motto” and not the “National Anachronism” [i.e., “out-of-date application or wrong-period attribution of an event”]
And let’s remember that it was judges’ “perversion of judgment” rather than “walking in God’s ways” that was the catalyst directly resulting in the leaders of Israel abandonment of self-government under God to ask for a king (i.e. authoritarianism) in 1 Samuel 8:3+.
Otherwise, we abandon our children to an “Orwellian” future:
“You are a slow learner, Winston,” said O’Brien gently. “How can I help it?” he blubbered. “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.” “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.” -George Orwell, 1984
Justice Clarence Thomas deserves commendation for suggesting that “a more fundamental rethinking of…Establishment Clause jurisprudence remains in order.” My expectation is that those prayer-wishful students in Indiana would say, “Amen to that!”
“American Judicial Alliance’s presentation should be required for all Supreme Court nominees and sitting Federal Judges.”
— Congressman Ted Poe
“I am so impressed with the great work you are doing! You have a powerful team working with you. America needs you more than ever. You give me hope!”
– William J. Federer, Jr.
Speaker and best-selling Author
“More than anything, thank you for the Harlan Bible. Our nine judges all thank you for your kindness and your effort!”
– Judge Harmon Drew, Jr.
Louisiana 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal
“I appreciate your efforts to restore some morality in our courts.”
– Retired Judge William N. Knight
31st Judicial District Court of Louisiana
“The judges are already tracking down their predecessors to have each one sign the Bible you presented in the tradition of the Supreme Court. Thanks again!”
–Retired Judge Tim Taft
Texas First Court of Appeals
What Supreme Court Justices are saying about the Harlan Bible:
“It was a thrilling moment when I signed my name in the Bible which…contains the signatures of all the Justices for the past 100 years. Thank you for sending your article…. I found it inspiring.
–Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
“I read with special interest your account of the first Justice Harlan and his Bible.… Thank you for an engaging pause in the day’s occupations.”
—Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Choudrant, La. – On Friday, March 12, 2010, American Judicial Alliance, a national organization based in Louisiana, dedicated twenty-eight bibles to north Louisiana courts at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, Louisiana.
The Bibles are dedicated in replication of a tradition held by the United States Supreme Court for over one hundred years. One of America’s most interesting justices, John Marshall Harlan (I) began the tradition by donating his personal Bible to the court. Since that time, every Supreme Court Justice has signed the “Harlan” Bible.
Friday night’s dinner featured a keynote by nationally-known historian and author, William J. Federer, whose books include “America’s God and Country,” “What Every American Needs to Know about the Qur’an” and “The Original 13: a Documentary History of Religion in America’s first Thirteen States.”
American Judicial Alliance (AJA) and its associated organization, Retired Judges of America (RJA) are led by Retired Judge Darrell White and Jason Stern. Both men share a vision for “awakening the conscience of One Nation Under God” and for restoring the importance of both the Bible and the Constitution to American jurisprudence.
Judge John Slattery of Springhill City Court said, “We are so grateful to receive this Bible into our court. The Framers knew what they were doing when they established this nation. It’s our duty to continue that vision.”
“American Judicial Alliance intends to place a Bible in every courtroom in America and to ask active and retired judges all across America to join the “Harlan tradition” of signing the Bible and utilizing them in their courts,” said Retired Judge Darrell White.
American Judicial Alliance is based in Baton Rouge, La. and has so far dedicated approximately 100 Bibles to courts across the South including the Supreme Courts of Louisiana and Texas.
Russell Shorto writes a balanced piece on the place of faith in the Founders’ plans for America and how the fight over whether that is true is being fought in Texas today. Here’s an excerpt:
If the fight between the “Christian nation” advocates and mainstream thinkers could be focused onto a single element, it would be the “wall of separation” phrase. Christian thinkers like to point out that it does not appear in the Constitution, nor in any other legal document — letters that presidents write to their supporters are not legal decrees. Besides which, after the phrase left Jefferson’s pen it more or less disappeared for a century and a half — until Justice Hugo Black of the Supreme Court dug it out of history’s dustbin in 1947. It then slowly worked its way into the American lexicon and American life, helping to subtly mold the way we think about religion in society. To conservative Christians, there is no separation of church and state, and there never was. The concept, they say, is a modern secular fiction. There is no legal justification, therefore, for disallowing crucifixes in government buildings or school prayer.
Read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/magazine/14texbooks-t.html?pagewanted=all
Ever wonder what the phrase the “Pursuit of Happiness” meant in the U.S. Constitution? Well here’s a hint from the Massachusetts Constitution. Remember, John and Samual Adams were two of the three framers. Hence, what they did in Massachusetts in 1780 gives us real insight into what the framers meant in 1776:
“Art. III. As the happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality, and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community but by the institution of the public worship of God and of the public instructions in piety, religion, and morality: Therefore, To … See Morepromote their happiness and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, and the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies-politic or religious societies to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.”