Retired Judge Darrell White

Ban All Holy Days!

Constitutional Law Professor John Eidsmoe has issued the following tongue-in-cheek rationale for banning all holidays.  
December 25 is now history, and the combatants in the “Christmas wars” have laid down their arms until next year. But the issues are far from resolved, and the conflict is far from over. Look for the guns to sound again come next December.
The problem with a ban on “Merry Christmas” is that it doesn’t go far enough. To be consistent (though that is a rare virtue these days) we should consider banning all holidays that might offend someone. Looking at my 2006 calendar, I find many holidays at which some might take offense.
New Year’s Day is an observance of the Gregorian calendar, an offense to those who don’t accept the Gregorian calendar, who don’t accept Jesus Christ as the central focus of human history, and who are offended by a calendar named after a Roman Catholic Pope. Let’s ban it.
January 16, Martin Luther King Day, is offensive to racists. Some might say racists deserve to be offended, but what right have we to be judgmental? Besides, the day is also used to celebrate the birth of Robert E. Lee, and this is offensive to Yankees. Let’s ban it.
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One Nation Under ?

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, founder of Toward Tradition and author of America’s Real War, notes that “In Israel, the mail is not delivered on Yom Kippur.  It is a Jewish nation.  In Saudi Arabia, the mail is not delivered on Friday.  It is an Islamic nation.  In America, the mail is not delivered on Sundays or Christmas.  It is a Christian nation.”
Not surprisingly, a November 2005 FOX News poll discloses the following:

  • 59 percent of Americans think Christianity is under attack here;
  • 81 percent disagree with the statement that religion should be “excluded from public life”;
  • 93 percent want “In God We Trust” to remain on our currency and coinage;
  • 90 percent are for keeping “One Nation Under God” in the Pledge of Alliance;
  • 76 percent say public display of the Ten Commandments should be legal;
  • 82 percent favor voluntary school prayer; and
  • 77 percent believe “the courts have gone too far in taking religion out of public life.”

Meanwhile, the civil war of cultural values continues to heat up with polygamists now seeking their “civil rights” –  Are they entitled?  Justice Anthony Kennedy and four concurring SCOTUS justices opined in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey that “at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life”.  On the other hand, Noah Webster, in his massive work, the 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defined civil liberty as “the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty, so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation.”  Thomas Jefferson affirmed that view in his now famous-but-little-understood 1802 letter to Danbury Baptists [enshrining “separation of church and state”] when he wrote that man “… has no natural rights in opposition to his social duties.”

Will we continue down this unmistakable “slippery slope”?  Put more personally, if the outcome of restoring our constitutional republic depended on you, would we transmit it intact to our children and grandchildren?  Well, it really does depend on you – and me!  Theodore Roosevelt issued a poignant challenge when he said, “No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.” -Theodore Roosevelt

CRA 2005 Update

A classic justification for passage of the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 (S. 520 in the Senate and H.R. 1070 in the House) is shown in a recent federal district judge’s ruling that the Indiana Legislature’s mention of the name of Jesus during prayer is unconstitutional.  See  While the Speaker of the Indiana House characterized this unelected federal judge’s decision as “intolerable”, it remains to be seen what specific action will follow.
It’s been said that when everything is said and done, more is usually said than done.  Enactment of the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 would totally remove jurisdiction from the federal courts over the acknowledgement of God as sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.  And if a federal judge ignores this statute, that fact would be evidence of a breach of the “good behaviour” condition for the judge’s holding office.  That development would give America a much-needed lesson in constitutional law, specifically Article III, Section 1.
The threats to America’s national security today are such that it behooves us to heed the warning of that “Defender of the Constitution” Daniel Webster:

“If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and continue to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.” (Daniel Webster, statesmen and orator, God Bless America, Prayer and Reflections for Our Country)
For a more current affirmation of this imperative, Billy Graham, upon receiving the Congressional Gold Medal in 1996, stated: “As we face a new millennium, I believe America has gone a long way down the wrong road. We must turn around…  If ever we needed God’s help, it is now.”
You can help by urging your congressman/woman and U.S. Senators to become co-sponsor of the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005.  Here is a link:$SITEID=-1:AID=176:APP=GAC$
Don’t put it off; do it now even as Louisiana’s recently approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 30 has urged Congress to act.

Hooray for The Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act!

If you’re looking for a rifle shot (as distinguished from a shotgun blast) to aim at today’s cultural malaise, consider supporting passage of Congressman Walter Jones’ Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act (HR 235) that appears to be picking up support in the House of Representatives.  The measure – with 165 co-sponsors to date – would lift IRS restrictions banning political speech from the pulpit.
Have religious leaders ever been allowed to speak out politically?  Yes!  Prior to 1954, pastors and religious leaders spoke freely about candidates and political issues when they felt the need. The slavery abolitionist organizations and the civil rights movement are great examples of church inspired political successes.  But in 1954, then Senator Lyndon Johnson added language to pending tax legislation to prevent two non-profit groups that opposed him in 1948 from speaking out against him in his 1954 re-election.  Since then, that tax language has been used to silence political speech in America’s houses of worship.
The Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act legislation would restore to America’s clergy the freedom to discuss politics with their congregations without putting their church’s tax exempt status in jeopardy.  Under the new formulation, clergy would be free to speak out on political issues during worship services – but prohibited from any direct participation in campaign activities.
Up till now, however, support from Democrats has been slim to none.  But that may change with the IRS investigation – announced just last month – into the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., one of the largest liberal congregations in the nation.  The IRS claims that two days before the 2004 presidential election, All Saints Rev. George Regas Regas ran afoul of tax law when he used his pulpit to deliver a blistering attack on President Bush and the Iraq war.  While insisting he wasn’t instructing anyone on how to vote, according to Gannett News – Regas implored his flock: “Jesus places on your heart this question. When you go to the polls this November, will you vote all your values?”  Reacting to the IRS investigation into All Saints, Robert Edger, general secretary of the left wing National Council of Churches, complained that the church is being targeted by “a political witch hunt.”
And while traditional left-wing advocacy groups like People for the American Way and Americans United for Separation of Church and State remain opposed to Rep. Jones’ measure, the All Saints case is making for some strange political bedfellows.  The Los Angeles Times reports that when Ted Haggard, head of the 30-million-member National Association of Evangelicals, heard about the All Saints case, he reached out to the National Council – telling them that while probably would not agree with much in Rev. Regas’ election eve sermon, he wants to work together to do “whatever it takes to get the IRS to stop” such actions.
With so many issues before legislative bodies involving moral questions of the day, those who ask for help from a higher power should not be excluded from the political process. Stay tuned – and weigh in by letting your lawmakers know what you think!

Immorality Does Not Stand Still

Several years ago, a Louisiana legislator sympathetic to a proposed law extending employment non-discrimination protection on the basis of an undefined term, “sexual orientation” got upset when I pointed out in committee that immorality does not stand still. Thankfully that legislation was defeated and has not been enacted in Louisiana.  Common sense – a commodity in increasingly short supply – should warn any thinking person that a relaxation of sexual morality would end with legalizing and normalizing a host of sexual perversions, including polygamy, incest and bestiality.
So we should not be surprised to read reports that legislators in Massachusetts are following up on their success at legalizing homosexual unions by pushing for softening laws against other forms of sexual deviance. They have introduced legislation called “An Act Relative to Archaic Crimes” proposing to reduce the penalties associated with the state’s criminal prohibition on sex acts with animals.  The bill would also amend the penal code to de-criminalize adultery, fornication and the advertisement of abortion  Not surprisingly, the proponent lawmakers are all endorsed by all three of Massachusetts’ gay lobby groups.   Read about it at

The ACLU’s Worst Nightmare

It is appropriate that the Louisiana Legislature passed a resolution urging Congress to enact the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 [] at the same time that a national survey was released indicating that Americans view religion as being under attack in America.  According to the poll American Attitudes Toward Religion In the Public Square, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, 64% of those surveyed agreed with the statement that “religion is under attack” in America. Only 32% disagreed with that statement. Among those who consider themselves fundamentalist / evangelical / charismatic Christians, the result rose to 80%.
The unanimous Senate Concurrent Resolution 30 [] by Mike Smith (Democrat, Winnfield), first of its kind in the nation, finds that “… the federal judiciary has overstepped its constitutional boundaries and ruled against the acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, and government by local and state officers and other state institutions, including state schools….”  SCR 30 concludes by urging Congress “to adopt S520 and HR1070, the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 and in doing so protecting the ability of the people of Louisiana to display the Ten Commandments in public places, to express their faith in public, to retain God in the Pledge of Allegiance, to retain ‘In God We Trust’ as our national motto, and to use Article III, Section 2.2 of the United States Constitution to except these areas from the jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court.”
One practical effect of passing the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 would be to remove from the jurisdiction of federal judges such as the one in New Orleans who is a former ACLU State President and recently ruled in favor of the ACLU regarding its challenge to Tangipahoa Parish School Board’s policy of opening their meetings in prayer.  Can you imagine any deliberative body in America more in need of prayer than a public school board?
Some of Louisiana’s congressional delegation (Rodney Alexander, Bobby Jindal, David Vitter) but not all, are co-authors of the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005.  Now would be an exceptionally good time to urge the remainder to stand for traditional values where it will make a difference.  This legislation truly is the ACLU’s worst nightmare.

It’s [Still] the Sin, Stupid!

It is now reported that Louisiana’s rate of syphilis cases ranked No. 1 in the nation last year, while its gonorrhea rate placed second and its Chlamydia rate was third, according to federal figures released on November 8th.  Louisiana’s syphilis rate is 7.4 cases per 100,000 people, compared with 2.7 cases per 100,000 nationally. The state’s gonorrhea rate is 234.4 cases per 100,000, while the national figure is 113.5 per 100,000. The Chlamydia rate is 485.7 per 100,000, compared with 319.6 per 100,000 nationally.
The Louisiana Director of the Office of Public Health claims that “The numbers have been high because we haven’t been able to do the things we need to do to intervene.”  An epidemiologist at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine affirmed that “It’s an economic phenomenon; it’s a sociological phenomenon” that would change once “we start getting people to have protected sex….”
To those with spiritual eyes to see, the problem is not lack of money for testing or condom distribution or training in “protected sex.”  No, the hard but inescapable fact is – to borrow James Carville’s attention-grabbing cliché – “it’s the sin, stupid!”

The most famous psychiatrist of the twentieth century, Dr. Karl Menninger, founder of the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, KS, shocked many with his 1973 book entitled, Whatever Became of Sin?  The cover jacket contains these words: “If as [Menninger] believes, mental health and moral health are identical, the recognition of the reality of sin offers to the suffering, struggling, anxious world a real hope not of belated treatment but of prevention.”

Mark Twain put it a little differently: “You can straighten a worm, but the crook is in him and only waiting.”  America desperately needs to dust off some hard truths:

  • “Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.” – Thomas Jefferson
  • “Why has government been instituted at all?  Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint.”  -Alexander Hamilton (thirty years old!) in Federalist #15
  • “[B]ut what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature.  If men were angels, no government would be necessary.  If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”  James Madison- Federalist Papers #51

Speaking of learning from history, Will Durant, writer of perhaps the most comprehensive history of the world, in his wrap-up volume, The Lessons of History, quoted Joseph de Maistre “I do not know what the heart of a rascal may be; I know what is in the heart of an honest man; it is horrible.” (page 51).

Parenthood Now Unconstitutional?

We may be reaching the “tipping point” with yesterday’s breathtaking sex-ed decision by the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Some have been claiming that it declared parenthood unconstitutional – (  Regardless of how you characterize the decision, it offers an extraordinarily good reason why the salutary language now found in Louisiana Children’s Code Preamble (Article 101) should be moved into the Louisiana Constitution:

“Art. 101.  Preamble – The people of Louisiana recognize the family as the most fundamental unit of human society; that preserving families is essential to a free society; that the relationship between parent and child is preeminent in establishing and maintaining the well-being of the child; that parents have the responsibility for providing the basic necessities of life as well as love and affection to their children; that parents have the paramount right to raise their children in accordance with their own values and traditions; that parents should make the decisions regarding where and with whom the child shall reside, the educational, moral, ethical, and religious training of the child, the medical, psychiatric, surgical, and preventive health care of the child, and the discipline of the child; that children owe to their parents respect, obedience, and affection; that the role of the state in the family is limited and should only be asserted when there is a serious threat to the family, the parents, or the child; and that extraordinary procedures established by law are meant to be used only when required by necessity and then with due respect for the rights of the parents, the children, and the institution of the family.”  Acts 1991, No. 235, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992. (emphasis added)  See

It is noteworthy that the Communist Manifesto lists 10 points which Marx considered critical to the success of communism. The last of these is “Public and gratis education of all children.”  We need a history lesson to be reminded that communists are atheists and the goals of the Communist Party are well documented, i.e.,: Continue reading

What This Country Needs Is …

Will Rogers opined that “What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.”  I would say that what our country desperately needs at this moment is a clear acknowledgement that our national motto has not degenerated into a national anachronism.  Is it still “In God We Trust” or is that merely past tense – “Trusted” today?

And what shall we say of the future for our children and grandchildren not to mention the future generations of Americans yet unborn?  For starters, how about contacting your congressman and senator and insist that they sign on as co-authors of the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005?  Here is an explanation.

What does the Constitution Restoration Act do?

  1. The legislation (S520 (Shelby) and H.R. 1070 (Aderholt) uses the constitutional power of Congress to limit the jurisdiction of federal courts to protect the right of government agencies and officials and the rest of us citizens to acknowledge God.
  2. It provides that any judge who allows such a case to be heard in his/her court will have committed a breach of the constitutional standard of “good behavior” and will therefore be subject to impeachment or removal.
  3. It also bars judges from relying on foreign legal codes in deciding cases.

Why is the Act so important? Continue reading

Filibuster Judicial Nominations?

Although some in the media keep talking about the “nuclear option,” there’s really nothing that explosive about the plans of Senate leadership to end the filibusters against President Bush’s judicial nominees.

The Constitution gives the Senate the power to offer “advice and consent” on nominations to the bench — but some senators – including Mary Landrieu – have interpreted that to mean that they have the power to “obstruct and prevent” qualified jurists from serving. The GOP plan would correct that abuse by reaffirming 51 votes as the number needed to confirm a nominee.

This proposal plan involves nothing unethical; after all, there are already at least 26 laws on the books limiting the use of filibusters to block everything from budget resolutions to international trade agreements. And Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, has said — back in 1995 — “The president is entitled to his nominee, if a majority of the Senate consent.”

The bottom line: Restoring Senate tradition to end the minority’s obstructionism must happen sooner rather than later. That’s the message our senators need to hear from us.