In Federalist Paper 2020 #4A we covered the necessity for the Supreme Court, the “guardians” of our divinely inspired Constitution, to be the most conservative body of individuals in the land. We the People need to now consider and understand the effects that “Packing the Court” the past seventy-seven years has had on our Constitutional Republic.
Our Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution and Bill of Rights based upon Judeo-Christian principles. As John Adams, our Second President, noted in a speech in 1798:
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. ... Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
It is very important for We the People to understand what the Founding Fathers meant when in 1791 they placed freedom of religion into the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. When the Bill of Rights was ratified, most of the 13 original colonies had established “State” religions. It is clear from the writings of the Founding Fathers that they were Christians, but they did not want one of the various established “State” Christian denominations they affiliated with as an established “National” religion. The Founding Fathers understood the difference between “religion” and an “established religion.” An “established religion” is a denomination or sect. “Religion” is a belief in God, or the Divine Providence, or the Creator without regard to a particular sect or Christian denomination. The Founding Fathers established this nation as a Christian nation built upon Judeo-Christian teachings! A position that was upheld by Jurists and the Supreme Court for 175 years as the following will demonstrate.
Chief Justice John Jay, our first Chief Justice, was also one of the three writers of the Federalist Papers. He declared, in a private letter to Rev. Jedidiah Morse in 1797, six years after the adoption of the Bill of Rights: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
A 1799 ruling of the Maryland Supreme Court, Runkel v. Wiremiller, stated: “By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty.”
An 1811 ruling of the New York Supreme Court, People v. Ruggles, stated: “Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government, because it tends to corrupt the morals of the people, and to destroy good order.”
An 1824 ruling of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Updegraph v. Commonwealth, stated: “A malicious intention, to vilify the Christian religion and the scriptures, would prove a nursery of vice, a school of preparation to qualify young men for the gallows, and young women for the brothel, and there is not a skeptic of decent manners and good morals, who would not consider such a common nuisance and disgrace.” “No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country. Christianity is part of the common law. Its foundations are broad and strong and deep. It is the purest system of morality and only stable support of all human laws.” (Emphasis added.)
In 1828, Noah Webster stated in the preface of his Dictionary, “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed … No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” (Emphasis added.)
In 1829, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story said in a speech at Harvard, “I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law … There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying its foundations.” (Emphasis added.)
In CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY v. UNITED STATES, 143 U. S. 457 (1892), MR. JUSTICE BREWER delivered the opinion of the Court. In this Opinion the Justices cited 87 precedents. They then indicated that they could have listed many more, but they saw no need. After referring to the many examples of State Constitutions and the Declaration of Independence, Justice Brewer stated:
There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning; they affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons; they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people. … These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.
Please remember that this ruling was given in the Year of Our Lord 1892 and of the United States of America 116 years. So it has just been demonstrated that at least for 116 years, the United States was considered a Christian nation by the United States Supreme Court. Also note that this decision was made 27 years after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. Wherein Section 1 states:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
This is included here because some have held the opinion that the Supreme Court could not interfere with the States concerning religious law prior to the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified on 6 December 1865. They have held that the First Amendment until then only applied to the Congress and the federal government. The faulty logic of this position is obvious because in Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States (1892), the Supreme Court declared that the United States was a Christian Nation by citing 87 precedents and indicating they could have cited many more, but they saw no need. This declaration (opinion) was given 27 years after the Fourteen Amendment.
Fifty-five years later, in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947), the Supreme Court began its “slippery slope” of decisions regarding religion in the United States. Decisions which have resulted in changing the recognized establishment of our Constitutional Republic as a Christian nation to a nation with an established religion of Atheism and Secular Humanism.
In the decision MR. JUSTICE BLACK wrote: The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups, and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and State.”
Many Justices, over the years, have held a dissenting opinion concerning what has become known as the “establishment clause.” They have held to the traditional “spirit” definition of the First Amendment rather than the “literal” definition being held here. That position is that the Founding Fathers intended on establishing a Christian nation. A position well expressed above in the 1799 ruling of the Maryland Supreme Court, Runkel v. Wiremiller, which stated: “By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty.” (Emphasis Added.) It was the Founding Fathers’ intent not to have any particular Christian denomination as the “established” religion of the United States. In fact until 1962, the Supreme Court held the traditionally recognized position that this nation was founded upon Christian principles. In this regard they were upholding both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution as given us by the Founding Fathers.
Then on June 25, 1962, the Supreme Court began it’s outright assault against Christianity and the principles held by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution. Through their judicial activism they began, ruling by ruling, against the specific wording of the First Amendment, to prohibit “the free exercise” of Christianity.
In Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962), MR. JUSTICE BLACK, in the face of 186 years of legal precedents, wrote for the Court against Christianity and without citing a single precedent, made it unconstitutional to pray in the Public Schools of this nation.
A year later in School Dist. of Abington Tp. V. Schempp, 374 U. S. 203 (1963), MR. JUSTICE CLARK writing for the Court, again without a single precedent cited, that reading the Bible and reciting the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of the school day was unconstitutional. This decision also flew in the face of history and tradition as the Bible had been used as a “text book” within all schools, public and private, since the Pilgrims first stepped on Plymouth Rock.
Five years after this in Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U. S. 97 (1968), the Court continued its assault on Christianity. MR. JUSTICE FORTAS writing for the Court, declared that “The sole reason for the Arkansas law is that a particular religious group considers the evolution theory to conflict with the account of the origin of man set forth in the Book of Genesis.” “The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.” “A State’s right to prescribe the public school curriculum does not include the right to prohibit teaching a scientific theory or doctrine for reasons that run counter to the principles of the First Amendment.”
By this decision the Court, itself, did not apply neutrality. They did not mandate teaching both evolution and creation. They instead mandated for the non-religious theory of evolution and excluded the religious view of creation as set forth in Genesis.
Lastly, in 1980 they ruled in Stone v. Gramm , 449 U. S. 39 (1980), even that the presence of the Ten Commandments posted in the schools was unconstitutional. The “Posting of religious texts on the wall serves no such educational function. If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.” How can any reasonable person conclude that reading, meditating upon, venerating and obeying the Ten Commandments, the foundational basis of all law within the States and the United States, to be unconstitutional?
This sampling of decisions demonstrates how far the Court has strayed from its mandate contained in the Constitution. In doing this they have assisted rather than hindered our national self-destruction and the purposes and intent of the Founding Fathers.
This assault by the “guardians” of our divinely inspired Constitution is contrary to the First Amendment which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …” The spirit of the Constitution as established by our Founding Fathers was that there would be no “state” religion other than Christianity. Their concern was that no particular Christian denomination would become the “state” religion. They had just escaped the tyranny of “state religions” when they fled Europe to this New World. For this reason they were opposed to the Church of England, Lutheranism, Methodism, Catholicism, or any other denomination becoming the national “state” religion. They wanted ALL Christian denominations to be on an equal footing one with the other. A position held by the Court for 175 years from 1787 until 1962.
Now because our “guardians,” the Justices of the Supreme Court, have forgotten the spirit of the Constitution and “Constitutional Supremacy,” they, by their “Judicial Supremacy,” over an eighteen year period, have replaced Christianity and established Atheism as the “state” religion of our Constitutional Republic. The expulsion of God and the Lord Jesus Christ from the public square has left We the People, as a nation, religiously no different than the USSR or Communist China. How the Founding Fathers must weep over this usurpation of power by the Justices of the Supreme Court who were set up as We the People’s, “guardians” of our Constitution.
After destroying Christianity as the basis of Constitutional Law, it was easy for our Supreme Court Justices to take the next step and attack our Declaration of Independence and the unalienable right to Life from our Creator. They did this through the opinion rendered in Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973) that during the first trimester a woman had the right to an abortion. In the dissenting opinion MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST stated that there was no constitutional basis for the ruling:
The decision here to break pregnancy into three distinct terms and to outline the permissible restrictions the State may impose in each one, for example, partakes more of judicial legislation than it does of a determination of the intent of the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment. ... To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment.
The results of this ruling according to the National Right to Life Committee and the Guttmacher Institute has been the “murder” of 62 million babies most of which have been done for no other reason than “birth control.” The hypocrisy of the law can be seen in this fact: If a pregnant woman is murdered, the murderer can be charged with two counts of murder – the mother and the unborn child. But, if a pregnant woman aborts [murders] her unborn child there is not even a misdemeanor charge. The choice, for those of the pro-choice movement, is not the choice of abortion; rather, it is the choice of abstinence or sexual intercourse. Once that choice is made, there are consequences to either decision which are out of the control of the decider. Can the Creator who grants us the unalienable right to Life, hold the mother or the nation who permits such a tragedy guiltless?
Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996 wherein marriage in the United States was defined as one man and one woman. The family is the basic unit of society and therefore also the basic unit of a community and nation. Without traditional marriages any society would eventually pass from existence through non-procreation. It is for this reason that traditional marriage, between one man and one woman, should be permitted special consideration by government as it ensures perpetuation of the nation.
Since its enactment the ACLU has been leading the challenge to have DOMA declared unconstitutional. One of their arguments is based upon the “equal protection” clause of the Constitution. It should be recognized however that all adults, gay or straight, in this nation have the SAME equal protection to enter into a heterosexual marriage and achieve the federal benefits that come by reason of their traditional marriage. The fact that gay individuals choose NOT to exercise their “equally protected” right to a traditional marriage does not provide to them a new Constitutionally protected right to the benefits of traditional marriage anymore than it does to those choosing to remain single outside the bonds of traditional marriage.
We the People can only hope that the Supreme Court will not legislate once more against the family and the majority Christian view. We can hope that the view expressed by Matthew Spalding, Ph.D. does not come to pass:
In the end, despite strong arguments that support congressional powers to pass it, DOMA won’t survive activist judges bent on using their evolving interpretations of personal liberty, equal protection, or due process to advance their policy objectives.
The United States continues to be a majority Christian nation. Christians are generally tolerant with those in our nation having non-Christian beliefs or minority alternative life styles. That does not mean that there are not bigoted Christians. It would also seem that those with these minority alternative life styles are not usually tolerant of the general Christian majority. Those with minority alternative life styles seem to want nothing less than absolute total acceptance and equality for their minority position. Tolerance is not acceptance. One does not need to be tolerant of what they accept.
May God Bless and Save the United States of America —
Our Constitutional Republic !