Graduation Season

Constitutionally speaking (i.e., in terms of the free speech clause) why should it matter to courts whether God’s last name is “Almighty” or “Damn”?  Graduation season is upon us, and that predictably brings out groups who threaten valedictorians and their handlers with expensive lawsuits should anyone dare to give thanks to God on these memorable occasions.  All the while, these same groups defend the “free speech” rights of those who would blaspheme our Creator in public.

Recent polling suggests that over 75% 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.  At the same time, Pew Research Center polling data shows that the stature of America’s judiciary has plummeted.  In 1997, 78% said they had a high opinion of the Court.  In 2001, it was 61%.  More recently, it was 57%. 

Human Events Weekly reports that “Favorable opinions of the Supreme Court among both conservative Republicans and evangelical Protestants have declined by about 20% since January 2001.”  (June 20, 2005)  Perhaps it is related to public perception that the Supreme Court is responsible for taking away private property, attacking religious liberties, legalizing same-sex marriage, and establishing rights for pornographers, criminals and terrorists.

French economist, statesman and author Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)  observed, “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.” 

Human nature has not changed, and those choices remain before us today.  Proverbs 29:2, reputedly the most popular verse during the period of America’s struggle for independence, puts it this way:  “When the [uncompromisingly] righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh.” (Amplified Bible)

Retired Judges of America (RJA) promotes the same point of view espoused in the 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.”

The seeming hostility to religion by many of its justices is a stain upon the Supreme Court.  RJA agrees with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that “a more fundamental rethinking of … Establishment Clause jurisprudence remains in order.” 

This era of constitutional cowardice must end!

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