Jesus, Even The Mention of Your Name….
by L. J. Martin
Judge James Harvie Wilkinson III of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in a majority opinion has ruled: legislative invocations offered in Jesus’ name are inherently “sectarian” and thus should be censored lest they make some attendees feel “uncomfortable, unwelcome and unwilling to participate in…public affairs.”
This a victory of the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State in a lawsuit against a board of county commissioners in North Carolina, whose members don’t believe they should have to forbid volunteers from mentioning the name of Jesus in prayers offered before their meetings.
To be truthful, I’m surprised they’re allowed to have prayers before their meetings in today’s “anti-God” climate in America.
God, go to the back of the line.
I find it particularly interesting that the First Amendment to the Constitution begins: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof:…
What makes our courts think they can override this simple statement: “prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
I also wonder, in this United States of America, does anyone attend a public meeting who is surprised to find Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, etc., etc. in the crowd? Is anyone offended when the atheist or agnostic does not participate in a prayer, or when a Muslim ends his prayer, or his statement to a board of commissioners with “praise Allah?”
Sorry, but I think our courts are infringing upon our freedoms, upon the very nature of a free America, and upon our constitutional rights when they dictate anything regarding religion in or out of a public venue.
That said, should a board of commissioners dictate that only Jesus may be mentioned in a pre-meeting or post-meeting prayer, or that only the name of Jesus may be used in the context of any speaker’s arguments during a meeting, then they are in violation of the constitution, and common decency, and respect for their fellow Americans. Or when a prayer drones on and becomes a “time constraint” imposition. Imposition on your fellows is different than stating your beliefs, simply and briefly. Common sense should rule, but that’s been far from the decisions of our courts for many years. Common sense is not mentioned in the Constitution, so why should our courts concern themselves with such a mundane concept?
The first definition of “providence” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary: 1) a: often capitalized: divine guidance or care. b) capitalized: God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny.
I point out that definition in regard to the following, two of whom were signers of the Constitution and the other who’s one of the most respected of our forefathers:
“(The adoption of the Constitution) will demonstrate as visibly the finger of Providence as any possible even in the course of human affairs can ever designate it.” George Washington
“I regard it (the Constitution) as the work of the purest patriots and wisest statesmen that ever exists, aided by the smiles of a benignant (gracious) Providence…it almost appears a Divine interposition in our behalf….” Daniel Webster (Daniel Webster (1782-1852), of Massachusetts, has been called the “Expounder [to explain in detail] of the Constitution”.)
“I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance (as the framing of the Constitution)…should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that…beneficent Ruler in whom all inferior spirits live and move and have their being.” Benjamin Franklin (Because of his poor health, Benjamin Franklin needed help to sign the Constitution. As he did so, tears streamed down his face.)
In our Declaration of Independence appear the words: God, Creator, Supreme Judge, and divine Providence. All capitalized, all references to a Supreme Being…all references to God.
If prominent religions offer one consistency it’s morality, (other than Islam…you can’t dictate the death of non-believers and claim morality). Still a Muslim should be able to invoke the name of Allah. And a witch the name of whatever/whomever they believe. Or an atheist no name at all.
Taking religion out of our schools and our public venues portends the downfall of America in my opinion. It seems our courts want no vestige of religion anywhere it might have a positive effect on America’s youth. And religion, ladies and gentlemen, is generally very positive.
What is it about our forefathers, our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution…and, yes, religion… that engenders so much disdain from our courts?
Ladies and gentlemen, if you want a moral America, tell your administration, your legislators, and particularly your courts to get the hell out of the issue of religion in America and get with the Constitution, before we’re all bound for Hell.
L. J. Martin is the author of 28 books and dozens of articles in national publications. He writes the conservative blog http://fromthepeapatch.com. He lives in Montana with his wife, an NYT bestselling internationally published author. For more about Martin see www.ljmartin.com.