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Prophet T. E. Deckard




The United States Supreme Court


The United States Supreme Court is the highest ruling court in America. If a court case reaches the Supreme Court, then the decision made is the final one, being that the case can go no higher. Many changes have came to our society in recent years via the U.S. Supreme Court. Once a spotless and upright court, it is now questioned as to its correctness in rulings and its righteousness before God.

Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853), the famous Royall Proffessor of Law at Harvard, succeeded Justice Joseph Story as the Dane Professor of Law. To the efforts of Story and Greenleaf is to be ascribed the rise of the Harvard Law School to its eminent position among the legal schools of the United States.

Greenleaf produced a work entitled: A Treatise On the Law of Evidence, still considered to be the greatest single authority on evidence in the entire literature of legal procedure. Chief Justice Fuller of the United States Supreme Court described Greenleaf by saying, "He is the highest authority in our courts."

In 1962, the Supreme Court in the New York prayer case banned the ... Saying of prayers. In 1963, the Court banned the reading of the Bible in our public school. From that point on, the courts pushed the meaning of the ruling ever outward, so that now our children are not allowed voluntary prayer  without certain stipulations.

The United States Supreme Court, 1789, was "ordained and established" by the Judiciary Act of Congress. Originally consisting of 6 justices, it has since been increased to 9. The Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., designed by Cass Gilbert, was completed in 1935. Engraved in stone above the head of the Chief Justice are the Ten Commandments with the great American eagle protecting them. Moses is included among the great lawgivers in Herman A. MacNeil's marble sculpture group on the east front.

At the beginning of each session of the court, as the Justices stand before their desks, the crier opens with the invocation, "God save the United States and the Honorable Court."

The United States Supreme Court, 1844, in the case of Vidal v. Girard's Executors, 43 U.S. 126, 132, Justice Joseph Story delivered the court's opinion. The case concerned one Stephen Girard, a deist from France, who had moved to Philadelphia and later died. In his will he left his entire estate, valued at over $ 7 million, to establish an orphanage and school, with the stipulation that no religious influence be allowed. The city rejected the proposal, as their lawyers declared:

The plan of education proposed is anti-christian, and therefore repugnant to the law ... The purest principles of morality are to be taught. Where are they found? Whoever searches for them must go to the source from which a Christian man derives his faith the Bible ... There is an obligation to teach what the Bible alone can teach, viz., A pure system of morality ...

Both in the Old and New Testaments [religious instruction's] importance is recognized. In the Old it is said, "Thou shalt diligently teach them to thy children," and the New, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not ...’ No fault can be found with Girard for wishing a marble college to bear his name for ever, but it is not valuable unless is has a fragrance of Christianity about it.

The Court rendered its unanimous opinion, stating:

Christianity ... Is not to be maliciously and openly reviled and blasphemed against, to the annoyance of believers or the injury of the public ... It is unnecessary for us, however, to consider the establishment of a school or college, for the propagation of ... Deism, or any other form of infidelity.

Such a case is not to be presumed to exist in a Christian country ... Why may not laymen instruct in the general principles of Christianity as well as ecclesiastics ...

And we cannot overlook the blessings, which such [lay] men by their conduct, as well as their instructions, may, nay must impart to their youthful pupils. Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a divine revelation in the [school] its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?

Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?

It is also said, and truly, that the Christian religion is a part of the common law of Pennsylvania ...

The United States Supreme Court, 1878, rendered its opinion on the case of Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 165 (1878). The same men that successfully passed the act creating religious freedom in Virginia, also passed very strict laws against polygamy and sexual immorality, as documented in the Supreme Court's decision of 1878:

It is a significant fact that on the 8th of December, 1788, after the passage of the act establishing religious freedom, and after the convention of Virginia had recommended as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States the declaration in a bill of rights that "all men have an equal, natural, and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience," [that] the legislature of that State substantially enacted the ... Death penalty ... [For polygamy].

United States Supreme Court, 1884, in reference to the individual's God-given rights:

These inherent rights have never been more happily expressed than in the Declaration of Independence, ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident’ that is so plain that their truth is recognized upon their mere statement "that all men are endowed" not by edicts of emperors or decrees of parliament, or acts of Congress, but ‘By their Creator with certain inalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and to secure these’ not grant them but secure them ‘governments are instituted among men.’

In 1885 the United States Supreme Court, in the case of Murphy v. Ramsey & Others, 144 U.S. 15, 45 (1885), gave its opinion:

Every person who has a husband or wife living ... And marries another ... Is guilty of polygamy, and shall be punished ... Certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth ...

Than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; [the family is] the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guarantee of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement.

The United States Supreme Court 1889, stated in the case of Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333, 341-343, 348 (1890), that the United States considers bigamy and polygamy as crimes. The State of Idaho also declared bigamy and polygamy illegal, and declared that anyone who commits it, teaches it or even encourages it, is forbidden from voting or holding office in that Territory.

A man named Samuel Davis was caught in the crime, fined and jailed. He argued that he was being imprisoned for his religious belief and that he should have the freedom to commit bigamy and polygamy under the First Amendment. The decision of the Court was delivered by Justice Stephen Field, who had been appointed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It stated:

Bigamy and polygamy are crimes by the laws of all civilized and Christian countries. They are crimes by the laws of the United States, and they are crimes by the laws of Idaho. They tend to destroy the purity of the marriage relation, to disturb the peace of families, to degrade woman and debase man ... To extend exemption from punishment for such crimes would be to shock the moral judgement of the community. To call their advocacy a tenet of religion is to offend the commons sense of mankind.

There have been sects which denied as a part of their religious tenets that there should be any marriage tie, and advocated promiscuous intercourse of the sexes as prompted by the passions of its members ... Should a sect of either of these kinds ever find its way into this country, swift punishment would follow the carrying into effect of its doctrines, and no heed would be given to the pretence that ... Their supporters could be protected in their exercise by the Constitution of the United States.

Probably never before in the history of this country has it been seriously contended that the whole punitive power of the government for acts, recognized by the general consent of the Christian world ... Must be suspended in order that the tenets of a religious sect ... May be carried out without hindrance. The constitutions of several States, in providing for religious freedom, have declared expressly that such freedom shall not be construed to excuse acts of licentiousness ... The constitution of New York of 1777 provided:

The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever hereafter be allowed, within this State, to all mankind: Provided, That the liberty of conscience, hereby granted, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness ... The constitutions of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada and South Carolina contain a similar declaration.

In 1890, United States Supreme Court, in the case of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. United States, 136 U.S. 1 (1890), forbade the practice of polygamy in the United States, stating:

It is contrary to the spirit of Christianity and the civilization which Christianity has produced in the Western world.

The Supreme Court, February 29, 1892, in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 US 457-458, 465-471, 36 L ed 226; Justice Josiah Brewer rendered the high court's decision:

Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.

No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation.

The commission to Christopher Columbus ... [Recited] that ‘it is hoped that by God's assistance some of the continents and islands in the ocean will be discovered ... ’

The first colonial grant made to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584 ...  And the grant authorizing him to enact statutes for the government of the proposed colony provided that they ‘be not against the true Christian faith ... ’

The first charter of Virginia, granted by King James I in 1606 ... Commenced the grant in these words: ‘ ...  In propagating of Christian Religion to such People as yet live in Darkness... ’

Language of similar import may be found in the subsequent charters of that colony ... In 1609 and 1611; and the same is true of the various charters granted to the other colonies. In language more or less emphatic is the establishment of the Christian religion declared to be one of the purposes of the grant. The celebrated compact made by the Pilgrims in the Mayflower, 1620, recites:

‘Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith ...  A voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia ...’

The fundamental orders of Connecticut, under which a provisional government was instituted in 1638-1639, commence with this declaration: ‘...  And well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union ... There should be an orderly and decent government established according to God ... To maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess ...  Of the said gospel [which] is now practiced amongst us.’

In the charter of privileges granted by William Penn to the province of Pennsylvania, in 1701, it is recited: ‘...  No people can be truly happy, though under the greatest enjoyment of civil liberties, if abridged of ...  Their religious profession and worship ...’

Coming nearer to the present time, the Declaration of Independence recognizes the presence of the Divine in human affairs in these words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ... Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions ... And for the support of this Declaration, with firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.’

... We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth ...  Because of a general recognition of this truth [that we are a Christian nation], the question has seldom been presented to the courts ...

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.

While because of a general recognition of this truth the question has seldom been presented to the courts, yet we find that in Updegraph v. The Commonwealth, it was decided that, Christianity, general Christianity, is, and always has been, a part of the common law ... Not Christianity with an established church ... But Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men.

And in The People v. Ruggles, Chancellor Kent, the great commentator on American law, speaking as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, said:

‘The people of this State, in common with the people of this country, profess the general doctrines of Christianity, as the rule of their faith and practice ...  We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of those impostors [other religions].’

And in the famous case of Vidal v. Girard's Executors, this Court ... Observed:

'It is also said, and truly, that the Christian religion is a part of the common law ...'

If we pass beyond these matters to a view of American life as expressed by its laws, its business, its customs and its society, we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth.

Among other matters note the following: The form of oath universally prevailing, concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of all deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills, 'In the name of God, amen';

The laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of courts, legislatures, and other similar public assemblies on that day; the churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town and hamlet; the multitude of charitable organizations existing everywhere under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe.

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 ... We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth.

The happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality.

Religion, morality, and knowledge [are] necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind.

The United States Supreme Court, 1925, in the case of Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), stated:

The fundamental theory upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children. The child is not the mere creature of the state.

In the case of United States v. Macintosh, 283 U.S. 605, 625 (1931) Justice George Sutherland delivered a decision regarding a Canadian seeking naturalization by reiterating the Court's decision of 1892:

We are a Christian people ... According to one another the equal right of religious freedom, and acknowledge with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God.

In the case of Hague v. C. I. O., 307 U.S. 496, 515 (1939), the high court stated:

Wherever the title of streets and parks may rest, they have immemorially been held in trust for the use of the public, and time out of mind, have been used for the purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions.

In 1948, the United States Supreme Court, in the case of McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203; Justice Felix Frankfurter rendered the court's opinion:

Traditionally, organized education in the Western world was Church education. It could hardly be otherwise when the education of children was primarily study of the Word and the ways of God. Even in the Protestant countries, where there was a less close identification of Church and State, the basis of education was largely the Bible, and its chief purpose inculcation of piety ...

In 1952, in the case of Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 307 313, Justice William O. Douglas delivered the court's decision, stating:

The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every respect there shall be a separation of Church and State. Rather, it studiously defines the manner, the specific ways, in which there shall be no concert or union or dependency one on the other.

That is the common sense of the matter. Otherwise the state and religion would be aliens to each other hostile, suspicious, and even unfriendly ...

Municipalities would not be permitted to render police or fire protection to religious groups. Policemen who helped parishioners into their places of worship would violate the Constitution. Prayers in our legislative halls; the appeals to the Almighty in the messages of the Chief Executive; the proclamation making Thanksgiving Day a holiday;

‘So help me God’ in our courtroom oaths these and all other references to the Almighty that run through our laws, our public rituals, our ceremonies, would be flouting the First Amendment. A fastidious atheist or agnostic could even object to the supplication with which the Court opens each session: ‘God save the United States and this Honorable Court.’

We are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being ... When the state encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions.

For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs. To hold that it may not would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe ...

We find no constitutional requirement makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against the efforts to widen the scope of religious influence. The government must remain neutral when it comes to competition between sects ...

We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion.

The United States Supreme Court 1962, in the case of Engle v. Vitale; as quoted in Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39, 46 (1980) and Abington v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 212 (1963), stated:

The history of man is inseparable from the history of religion.

The Supreme Court 1963, in the case of School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 212, 225 (1963), pp. 21, 71, records Associate Justice Tom Clark writing of the Court's opinion:

It is true that religion has been closely identified with our history and government. As we said in Engle v. Vitale, 'The history of man is inseparable from the history of religion.'

Secularism is unconstitutional ... Preferring those who do not believe over those who do believe ... It is the duty of government to deter no-belief religions ... Facilities of government cannot offend religious principles ...

[T] he State may not establish a ' religion of secularism ' in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus ' preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.

It might well be said that one's education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.

In 1969, high court 1969, in the case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, 393 U.S. 503, 506, 512, 513 (1969), stated:

It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. [Student's rights apply] in the cafeteria, or on the playing field, or on campus during authorized hours ...

School officials do not possess absolute authority over their students.

The United States Supreme Court 1973, in the case of Anderson v. Salt Lake City Corp, 475 F. 2d 29, 33, 34 (10th Cir. 1973), cert. Denied, 414 U.S. 879, stated:

But this creed does not include any element of coercion concerning these beliefs unless one considers it coercive to look upon the Ten Commandments. Although they are in plain view, no one is required to read or recite them.

It does not seem reasonable to require removal of a passive monument, involving no compulsion, because its accepted precepts, as a foundation for law, reflect the religious nature of an ancient era.

In the case of Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39, 42, 46 (1980), the stated:

Religion has been closely identified with our history and government, Abington School District, 1963, and that the history of man is inseparable form the history of religion. Engle v. Vitale, 1962.

The Bible may constitutionally be used in an appropriate study of history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, or the like.

The court, in the case of Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263, 269 (1981), stated:

Religious worship and discussion ... Are forms of speech and association protected by the First Amendment.

In 1982, in the case of Chambers v. Marsh, 675 F. 2d 228, 233 (8th Cir. 1982); review allowed, 463 U.S. 783 (1982), Chief Justice Warren E. Burger's delivered the court's opinion:

The legislature by majority vote invites a clergyman to give a prayer, neither the inviting nor the giving nor the hearing of the prayer is making a law. On this basis alone ... The sayings of prayers, per se, in the legislative halls at the opening session in not prohibited by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The case of Bogen v. Doty ... Involved a county board's practice of opening each of its public meetings with a prayer offered by a local member of the clergy ... This Court upheld that practice, finding that it advanced a clearly secular purpose of establishing a solemn atmosphere and serious tone for the board meetings ... Establishing solemnity is the primary effect of all invocations at gatherings of persons with differing views on religion.

The men who wrote the First Amendment religion clause did not view paid legislative chaplains and opening prayers as a violation of that amendment ... The practice of opening sessions with prayer has continued without interruption ever since that early session of Congress.

It can hardly be thought that in the same week the members of the first Congress voted to appoint and pay a chaplain for each House and also voted to approve the draft of the First Amendment ... (That) they intended to forbid what they had just declared acceptable.

[Chaplains and prayer] are deeply embedded in the history and tradition of this country.

United States Supreme Court 1983, in the case of United States v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171, 177 (1983), stated:

Streets, sidewalks, and parks, are considered, without more, to be public forums.

United States Supreme Court 1985, in the case of Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668, 669-670 (1985): Chief Justice Warren Burger rendered the court's opinion upholding that the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island did not violate the Constitution by displaying a Nativity scene. The decision noted that presidential orders and proclamations from Congress have designated Christmas as a national holiday in religious terms since 1789:

The city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Annually erects a Christmas display in a park ... The creche [nativity] display is sponsored by the city to celebrate the Holiday recognized by Congress and national tradition and to depict the origins of that Holiday; these are legitimate secular purposes ... The creche ... Is no more an advancement or endorsement of religion than the congressional and executive recognition of the origins of Christmas ...

It would be ironic if ... The creche in the display, as part of a celebration of an event acknowledged in the Western World for 20 centuries, and in this country by the people, the Executive Branch, Congress, and the courts for 2 centuries, would so ' {taint} ' the exhibition as to render it violative of the Establishment Clause. To forbid the use of this one passive symbol ... Would be an overreaction contrary to this Nation's history.

There is an unbroken history of official acknowledgement by all three branches of government of the role of religion in American life ...

The Constitution does not require a complete separation of church and state. It affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions and forbids hostility towards any.

The United States Supreme Court 1985, in the case of Wallace v. Jafree, 472 U. S., 38, 99, Associate Justice William Rehnquist rendered the court's decision:

"It is impossible to build sound constitutional doctrine upon a mistaken understanding of Constitutional history ... The establishment clause had been expressly freighted with Jefferson's misleading metaphor for nearly forty years ...

There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the framers intended to build a wall of separation [between church and state] ... The recent court decisions are in no way based on either the language or intent of the framers."

United States Supreme Court, 1986, in the case of Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U. S. 186, 92 L Ed 2d 140, 106 S. Ct. 2841, p. 149, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger delivered the court's decision censuring the act of sodomy:

Condemnation of those practices is firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian moral and ethical standards.

Sodomy was a criminal offense at common law and was forbidden by the laws of the original 13 States when they ratified the Bill of Rights. In 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, all but five of the 37 States in the Union had criminal sodomy laws. In fact, until 1961, all 50 states outlawed sodomy ... Provid [ing] criminal penalties for sodomy performed in private and between consenting adults.

United States Supreme Court June 4, 1990, in the case of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, 496, U.S. 226, 250, (1990), No. 88-1597 Part III was delivered by Justice O'Connor and No. 88-1597-CONCUR Part II was delivered by Justice Kennedy and Justice Scalia. By this 8 to 1 decision, the Supreme Court ruled to allow the formation of Christian clubs on the campuses of public schools, provided they were student initiated. Students were to be granted identical rights which other non-curricular groups were enjoying:

There is a crucial difference between government speech endorsing religion, which the Establishment Clause forbids, and private speech endorsing religion, which the Free speech and Free Exercise Clauses protect.

If a State refused to let religious groups use facilities open to others, then it would demonstrate not neutrality but hostility toward religion. The Establishment Clause does not license government to treat religion and those who teach or practice it, simply by virtue of their status as such, as subversive of American ideals and therefore subject to unique disabilities.

Indeed, as the Court noted in Widmar, a denial of equal access to religious speech might well create greater entanglement problems in the form of invasive monitoring to prevent religious speech at meetings at which such speech might occur. See Widmar, 454 U.S., At 272, n. 11.

I should think it inevitable that a public high school 'endorses' a religious club, in a common-sense use of the term, if the club happens to be one of many activities that the school permits students to choose in order to further the development of their intellect and character in an extracurricular setting.

But no constitutional violation occurs if the school's action is based upon a recognition of the fact that membership in a religious club is one of many permissible ways for a student to further his or her own personal enrichment.

United States Supreme Court, 1992, in the case of Lee v. Weisman, 112 S. Ct. 2649 (1992), by only a one vote majority, Justice Kennedy wrote the decision that a commencement prayer is not to be given by clergy. In a strong dissenting opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Justice Byron White and Justice Clarence Thomas, stated that invocations and benedictions may continue to be offered provided a notice is included in the commencement program that participation is voluntary:

The Court lays waste a longstanding American tradition of nonsectarian prayer to God at public celebrations ... There is simply no support for the proposition that the officially sponsored nondenominational invocation and benediction read by Rabbi Gutterman with no one legally coerced to recite them violated the Constitution of the United States.

To the contrary, they are so characteristically American they could have come from the pen of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln himself ...

That obvious fact recited the graduates and their parents may proceed to thank God, as Americans have always done, for the blessings He has generously bestowed on them and their country.

In pointing out the logical absurdity of the decision, Justice Scalia observed:

If students were psychologically coerced to remain standing during the invocation, they must also have been psychologically coerced moments before, to stand for the Pledge.

United States Supreme Court, 1993, in the case of Jayne Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, Justice Scalia delivered the majority decision, which held that:

A value judgement favoring childbirth over abortion is proper and reasonable enough to be implemented by the allocation of public funds.

United States Supreme Court June 7, 1993, in the case of Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District, rendered a 9-0 unanimous decision, overturning a ruling by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case involved a New York school district that had rejected the request for facilities, which are made available for other no curricular uses, to be used for the showing of Dr. James Dobson's film, “Turn Your Heart Toward Home.”

The Supreme Court allowed the film to be shown, thereby upholding the right of freedom of speech, including religious free speech, within the public arena.

Free speech, even involving religious content, cannot be restricted by the New York education law, which permits public school facilities to be rented for the purpose of:

Holding social, civic, and recreational meetings and entertainments, and other uses pertaining to the welfare of the community.

During the proceedings, Supreme Court Justice Scalia questioned the school board's attorney:

Justice Scalia: You are here representing both respondents [the school board and the State of New York] ... In this argument, and the Attorney General of New York, in his brief defending ... The New York rule says that 'Religious advocacy serves the community only in the eyes of its adherents and yields a benefit only to those who already believe.' Does New York State - I grew up in New York State, and in those days they - they used to have a tax exemption for religious property. Is that still there?

Counsel: Yes, Your Honor, it still is.

Justice Scalia: But they've changed their view, apparently, that -

Counsel: Well, Your Honor -

Justice Scalia: You see it used to be thought that that religion it didn't matter what religion, but it some code of morality always went with it and was thought, you know, what was called a God-fearing person might be less likely to mug me and rape my sister. That apparently is not the view of New York anymore.

Counsel: Well I'm not sure that that's - that -

Justice Scalia: Has this new regime worked very well? (Laughter)

Justice White, writing the opinion, stated:

The government violates the First Amendment when it denies access to a speaker solely to suppress the point of view he espouses on an otherwise inculpable subject ... [The] First Amendment forbids the government to regulate speech in ways that favor some viewpoints or ideas at the expense of others.

Justice Scalia, in his concurring opinion, wrote:

That was not the view of those who adopted our Constitution, who believed that the public virtues inculcated by religion are a public good. It suffices to point out that during the summer of 1789, when it was in the process of drafting the First Amendment, Congress enacted the famous Northwest Territory Ordinance of 1789, Article III of which provides, "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

United States Supreme Court June 7, 1993, in the case of Jones v. Clear Creek Independent School District, 977 F. 2d 963, 972 (5th Cir. 1992), upheld the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision permitting student-initiated prayer at high school graduation ceremonies, providing a majority of the class votes to do so:

A majority of students can do what the State acting on its own cannot do to incorporate prayer in public high school graduation ceremonies.

There is a crucial difference between government speech endorsing religion, which the Establishment Clause forbids, and private speech endorsing religion, which the Free speech and Free Exercise Clauses protect.

United States Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1992, in the case of Americans United for Separation of Church and State v. City of Grand Rapids, 980 F. 2d 1538, 1555, stated:

What the members of Chabad House seek in this court is fully consistent with, and does not violate, our traditional division between church and state ... They merely ask that they not be spurned because they choose to praise God. Instead of forcing them to remain on our sidelines, our Constitution offers them platform from which to proclaim their message. In a traditional public forum, as at the ballot box, all citizens are insiders as they seek to influence our civic life.

United States Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1992, in the case of Doe v. Small, 964 F. 2d 611, 618 (7th Cir. 1992), stated:

The Supreme Court has refused to find the Establishment Clause to be a sufficiently compelling interest to exclude private religious speech even from a limited public forum created by the government.

United States Court of Appeals 7th Circuit May 17, 1993, rendered its opinion in the case of Walsh v. Boy Scouts of America. In 1989, Elliott Walsh of Hinsdale, an agnostic, had sued the Boy Scouts on behalf of his 10 year old son, Mark, claiming religious discrimination against the West Suburban Council Tiger Cub Scout chapter.

The court ruled that the Boy Scouts could keep the phrase "duty to God" in their oath, and as a private organization they had the right to exclude anyone who refused to take the oath.

Judge John Coffey, in delivering the 2-1 majority opinion, stated the Boy Scouts did not violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act as scouting was an activity and not a facility, a membership organization, rather than a "place of public accommodation":

The leadership of many in our government is a testimonial to the success of Boy Scout activities ... In recent years, single-parent families, gang activity, the availability of drugs and other factors have increased the dire need for support structures like the Scouts.

When the government, in this instance, through the courts, seeks to regulate the membership of an organization like the Boy Scouts in a way that scuttles its founding principles, we run the risk of undermining one of the seedbeds of virtue that cultivate the sorts of citizens our nation so desperately needs.

United States Court of Appeals 8th Circuit 1980, in the case of Florey v. Sioux Falls School District, 619 F. 2d 1311, 1314 (8th Cir. 1980), stated that the performance and study of religious songs, inclusive of Christmas carols, is constitutional, provided the purpose is the:

Advancement of the students' knowledge of society's cultural and religious heritage, as well as the provision of an opportunity for students to perform a full range of music, poetry, and drama that is likely to be of interest to the students and their audience.

{United States Court of Appeals 9th Circuit} 1993, in the case of Kreisner v. City of San Diego, 1 F. 3d 775, 785, held:

The Committee [seeking to erect the display], like other citizens of diverse views, has a right to express its views publicly in areas traditionally held open for all manner of speech.

{United States Court of Appeals 10th Circuit} July 12, 1993, in the case of Cannon v. City and County of Denver, rendered a unanimous decision in favor of two women who picketed near an abortion clinic, stating:

We are convinced that here the message on the signs did not amount to fighting words under the Supreme Court's standards ... Furthermore they played an important role in the exposition of ideas. We hold therefore that the rights of the protestors to picket on the public sidewalks in front of the clinic with signs was a clearly established constitutional right at the time of the 1988 arrests in question.

United States Court of Appeals 11th Circuit. October 18, 1993, in the case of Chabad Lubavitch of Georgia v. Miller, No. 92-8008 stated:

Because the religious speech is communicated in a true public forum ... The state, by definition, neither endorses nor disapproves of the speech. By permitting religious speech in a public forum whether in the heart of a core government building, in the Georgia Governor's mansion, or in the outer reaches of some state-owned pasture the state simply does not endorse, but rather acts in a strictly neutral manner toward, private speech.

United States District Court, March 18, 1992, Western District of Texas Austin Division, Word of Faith v. Attorney General, Civil No. A-92-CA-089, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks renders the decision:

On January 13, 1992 ... The Attorney General of Texas sent to the Plaintiffs, by facsimile transmission, a demand for documents ... Both the nature and extent of the documents demanded were not reasonable and included documents clearly the Attorney General was not entitled to obtain from any religious organization and / or church.

The church ... Clearly had First Amendment rights to assert ... Now, after the filing of this lawsuit, the Attorney General admits its demand for documents ... And its petition in quo warranto were inappropriate ...

The Court finds from the evidence that the conduct of the Attorney General and his personnel ... Was neither professional nor responsible, bordering on the unethical and constitutes 'bad faith.' This conduct is not what is expected of attorneys charged with the responsibility of being the legal representatives of the State of Texas.

It is beyond dispute freedoms of religious worship and of association are foundation pillars of our country ... For generations Americans have died and been persecuted defending these specific rights.

In this particular case, the Attorney General of the State of Texas has utilized its own interpretation of a statute ... To publicly accuse a church of fraud and demand documents clearly constitutionally protected.

The accusation and demand for documents and records are enforced by pleading in quo warranto requesting dissolution of the corporate church, appointment of a receiver to manage its affairs, and an Injunction against its ministers from conducting the business of the church which is admitted (by stipulation) to be a bona fide religious organization.

These circumstances satisfy, in this Court's judgment ... The conduct of the Attorney General as 'bad faith, harassment or any other unusual circumstance that would require equitable relief.'

... The Court finds from the evidence that the Plaintiffs have established that their declining to deliver the records and documents demanded by the Attorney General was an exercise of legitimate and valid First Amendment rights, i. e. Constitutionally protected.

Contributors to the church do not seek to purchase goods or services. Plaintiffs do not advertise goods or services for sale. Contributors to the church are not required to give donations in order to receive pamphlets, books or other goods. Nor is a donation required before [someone] will pray over a prayer request or perform other acts.

There is nothing to make contributors to the church believe their contributions are in return for requested materials or acts by the church ... In fact, not only do members sometimes make 'vows' or contributions without requesting any materials or acts to be performed ... But the church makes it a practice to inform persons who seek to 'purchase' items that the church no longer sells anything ... Contributors to the church are not 'consumers,' and the Attorney General may not bring a DTPA action to protect their interests ...

The Attorney General demanded, amongst other things ... [The] list of all persons who have sent contributions to the Church ... Including name, address, telephone number, amount and date of contribution ... The scope and substance of these requests are clearly unconstitutional.

The State has no constitutional authority to know a person's membership in or support of any church. The State has no constitutional authority to know what a person believes, how he or she practices religion, or how he or she supports religious activities. Nor does the State have constitutional authority to probe into the internal operations of a church ... The First Amendment right to freedom of religious belief and freedom of association protects this kind of information.

Implicit in these First Amendments freedoms is privacy of belief and association ...

Disclosure of who belongs to a group or who contributes to a group, and how much, has been vigorously safeguarded by the United States Supreme Court ... The Court has recognized that disclosure to the public, or to the State, of a group's members or contributors can harm the group by subjecting them to harassment or causing new members to not join for fear of disclosure or harassment or other reprisal.

In order to withstand attack under the Establishment Clause, three requirements must be met:

First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion ...

Plaintiffs' pamphlets, advertisements, television broadcasts, sermons, etc., Would be subject to inspection and approval by the Attorney General. Certainly this continual monitoring of the Plaintiffs' activities by the Attorney General would constitute an excessive entanglement ...

This would also require the Attorney General to make determinations as to which representations are purely religious and which are secular. The Assistant Attorney Generals assure this Court they can distinguish purely religious assertions from secular assertions ... Despite the Assistant Attorney Generals' confidence, this Court does not believe they or any other state officials are authorized to make those kind of determinations.

See e. G. Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 305-06, 60 S. CT. 900, 904 (1940) (state could not give a state official the power to determine if a solicitation was for a religious cause or not); Lemon, 403 U.S. At 618-19, 91 S. Ct. At 2114 ("With the best of intentions such a teacher would find it hard to make a total separation between secular teaching and religious doctrine").

It is simply not the business of courts or the State to ‘approve, classify, regulate, or in any manner control sermons delivered at religious meetings’ or other forms of religious expression. See Fowler v. Rhode Island, 345 U. S. 526, 527, 73 S. Ct. 526, 527 (1953).

The Attorney General sought forfeiture of [the church's] charter and dissolution of the corporation and appointment of a Receiver to take possession of the affairs of the [church], to rehabilitate, reorganize, conserve or liquidate the affairs of the corporation and sought a permanent Injunction against the [church], its officers, directors, stockholder, agents, employees, and representatives whomsoever from conducting any business of the [church] ...

Application of these remedies to the Plaintiffs is clearly unconstitutional.

It is absurd for the Attorney General to think that it can deprive the Plaintiffs of their rights to freely worship as a group altogether as punishment for the Plaintiffs initial assertion of their First Amendment rights to not produce constitutionally protected documents ...

A fine for exercising one's First Amendment rights would clearly be unconstitutional ... Imprisonment would also clearly be unconstitutional, both as a punishment for exercising one's constitutional rights and because it would wholly prevent ... Exercising an important part of their religious beliefs, which is to spread their religious faith to others.

The Attorney General argues that because Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code includes a corporation operated for religious purposes the Church is a charitable entity. This Court disagrees. A church is not organized for a 'civic or public purpose.' If the Legislature had intended to incorporate any entity described in the Internal Revenue Code... It could have easily done so.

The church is not a charitable trust, and because jurisdiction in the Travis County Probate Court is based on the church being a charitable trust, that jurisdiction is improper... The Attorney General cannot, in turn, use allegations of fraud as a sword to violate the Plaintiffs' First Amendment rights ...

Article 1396-2. 23A specifically exempts a religious institution from having to maintain, and make available to the public financial records 'with respect to all financial transaction of the corporation' ...

The Attorney General of Texas, is permanently enjoined from pursuing further its ... Demand for documents and investigation.

United States District Court July 1993, in the case of Black v. City of Atlanta, ordered the City of Atlanta, Georgia, to adopt procedures respecting the rights of pro-life protestors. The ruling encompassed:

1. The fundamental rights of speech, press and religion includes the freedom to engage in prayer, conversation, oratory, display and / or distribution of literature, display of picket signs, reading of scriptures, singing and chanting.

2. City authorities will not interfere with, restrict, or deny the rights of speech, press, or religion, unless an actual obstruction or impediment occurs. Circumstances where physical passage is possible, but discomfort with the messages of a speaker causes a person to avoid the abortion location, are not considered an obstruction or impediment.

3. Public streets and public sidewalks located adjacent to abortion facilities in Atlanta are public forums. The City of Atlanta and its law enforcement personnel shall respect the exercise of free speech rights on these public forums.

Atlanta's law enforcement personnel must allow the greatest tolerance for political and religious expression by its citizens. The Atlanta Police Department's Field Manual will be revised to include the guidelines set forth in the court order. Copies of the court order will be distributed to all police zone and watch commanders.


 America Forsaken Chapter 7


 America Forsaken Chapter 9


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