By Bill Sizemore
August 29, 2003
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is being scammed, just like the rest of us. In a moment I will prove that with just one word. Yes, just one word.
As we learn in high school, judges are the interpreters of our laws. They don't write laws, they interpret them. Judges read the words the legislative branch has written and passed; examine the obvious meaning of those words and the context in which they are found; and when there is an ambiguity, they research and consider the legislative history surrounding the text of the law to discover what the legislators meant when they passed it.
Legislative history is the record of the committee hearings in which the law originally was discussed, before it was sent by the committee to the floor of the larger legislative body for consideration. Legislative history also includes the speeches given on the floor of the House of Representatives and the Senate before the final vote on the law occurs. Committee testimony and floor speeches are often used to clarify exactly what the framers of the law intended, when they drafted it and adopted it into law.
In the case of the Constitution, part of the legislative record are the Federalist Papers, which were newspaper columns written by supporters of the Constitution, explaining to the people of the thirteen states why they should ratify the Constitution and give limited powers to a newly formed federal government.
By now, most conservatives are aware that the words "separation of church and state" appear no where in the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or the Federalist Papers. They are not the law; neither are they part of the legislative history of the law. The doctrine or separation of church and state is a fabrication of blatantly liberal, anti-Christian, dishonest, activist judges. In fact, the words,"separation of church and state" are only words taken out of context from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson. They exist nowhere in the laws of our nation.
Earlier, I said I would prove that the doctrine of separation of church and state is a scam, and that I would do so with one word; just one word. That is easily done. On a recent radio show, I handed a co-host a copy of the U.S. Constitution and asked him to read the First Amendment out loud over the air. He began to read, but I stopped him after the first word. "That's enough. You have read enough. You don't have to read further. You have settled the debate already," I said.
What was that one word that ended the debate over separation of church and state. That word is "Congress."
Read it for yourself. The First Amendment says that congress shall make no law establishing a religion. It doesn't say that states cannot establish a religion or observe religious holidays. It doesn't say that cities, counties, or school districts cannot show respect for the Bible or Christianity. The First Amendment doesn't imply in even the vaguest way that it is unconstitutional for a city to erect a manger scene in the town square at Christmas or for a school teacher to offer up a prayer to Almighty God at a graduation ceremony or before daily classes begin. You cannot get that out of the First Amendment, even if you stretch.
It's right there, plain as day. The First Amendment only limits Congress; no one else. Under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Congress cannot establish a religion or prohibit the free exercise of religion. But, you say, the Founders must have wanted to prevent governments at all levels from showing preference for any one religion over others. Not so. The states would not have given Congress any authority over their actions regarding such matters.
At the time the Constitution was ratified by the thirteen original states, not only did Congress hold long, fervent prayer meetings and quote directly from scripture in speeches and floor debates, but a number of the original 13 states had in existence official state churches with official names like The Church of Maryland. Official state churches. And they were overtly Christian.
Those state churches were not limited by the First Amendment, nor did they cease to exist after the Constitution was ratified. Why? Because the First Amendment did not affect them. The First Amendment was designed solely to prohibit Congress from establishing a national church like the Church of England; a political church that many of the colonists had come to the New World to escape. The Founders merely wanted to prevent the federal government from forcing one sect of Christianity upon the entire country.
If you think the Founders supported the doctrine of separation of church and state, consider these quotes:
The U.S. Supreme Court in The Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S. said, "Religion, morality, and knowledge are necessary to good government, and preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind." Clearly, the U.S. Supreme Court once thought that the U.S. could not have good government without religion.
The U.S. Supreme Court also said in the same case, "Our laws and our institution must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of Mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. In this sense and to this extend, our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian." Has one word of the Constitution been changed since the court issued this decision in 1892, a hundred years after the Constitution was ratified, declaring that America is emphatically Christian?
Consider these words from the Northwest Ordinance, approved by Congress in 1789, "Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, school and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." There it is again, we must have religion if we are going to have good government, and they tie religion to schools. In fact, the very first English Bibles printed in America were paid for by the U.S. Congress with public money, and inside the cover of those Bibles it says that they were for use in our schools.
John Adams, our second president said, "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."
Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the House in the early days of the Republic, said, "Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them, either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man, either by the Bible or by the bayonet." Judge Roy Moore is right. The Bible is the basis for our laws. We end up with more government and less freedom when we refuse to be governed by morality and religion.
James Madison said, "We have staked the whole future of American Civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institution...upon the capacity of of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."
George Washington, our first president and the father of our country, said, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."
Consider these additional quotes that demonstrate that the Founders were overtly Christian, not just religious men. Patrick Henry said, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been offered asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." Multi-culturalism to the Founders did not mean that we ceased to be a Christian nation, but that we were tolerant of others and allowed them to worship freely. We did not force them to become Christians and they did not force our nation to cease to be Christian.
The final version of the First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Part of the legislative history of the First Amendment includes a longer version that included the words, "...nor shall any national religion be established...". That's what the First Amendment was about, prohibiting Congress from establishing a national church.
Liberal judges, ACLU lawyers, and liberal law professors have stolen the heritage of this nation. They have taken a clearly worded provision of the Constitution and twisted it to rob of us of the very underpinnings of our government and our society. They didn't do it through legislative acts, adopted by the duly elected representatives of the people. In fact, no words have changed in the First Amendment. The original words have been given radically different nonsensical meanings. Liberal judges have taken prayer out of our schools and manger scenes out of our town squares by blatant dishonesty. They have taken a constitutional provision that clearly limits Congress and only Congress and applied it to states, cities, counties and school districts.
Folks, it is impossible for us to save this country from those who would destroy it and pervert it into something radically different from what the Founder envisioned, if we do not rein in the power of overreaching, activist judges, who no longer interpret the clear meaning of the law, but pervert it and twist it. Judges today twist the law to make it say what they want it to say; to accomplish the end they desire. To that end they are no longer judges, but thieves, unworthy of the robes they wear.
© 2003 Bill Sizemore - All Rights Reserved
Bill Sizemore is a registered Independent who works as executive director of the Oregon Taxpayers Union, a statewide taxpayer organization. Bill was the Republican candidate for governor in 1998. He and his wife Cindy have four children, ages eight to thirteen, and live on 36 acres in Beavercreek, just southeast of Oregon City, Oregon.
Bill Sizemore is considered one of the foremost experts on the initiative process in the nation, having placed dozens of measures on the statewide ballot. Bill was raised in the logging communities of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, and moved to Portland in 1972. He is a graduate of Portland Bible College, where he taught for two years. A regular contributing writer to www.NewsWithViews.com. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill's Web site: www.Billsizemore.net