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America Needs Moore Courage
by Gary Schneider
25 August 2003Ten Commandments Monument

The current interpretation of the "separation of church and state" is the very opposite of the founders' intent.

“I have no intention of removing the (Ten Commandments) monument …This I cannot and will not do,” said Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals last week.  With these words he has thus raised the visibility and the stakes in the war for the very soul of America by putting his foot down, his hand over his heart and his eyes skyward.

In July 2001, a monument containing the Ten Commandments was erected on the rotunda of the Alabama state judiciary building.  Three months later, almost before you could utter the words “religion is the opiate of the masses,” the ACLU along with Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed suit claiming that the display of the Ten Commandments was an unconstitutional establishment of religion in a government building.  They won, Moore appealed and lost, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the merits of the case was subsequently denied, the deadline to remove the monument passed. Now, the remaining eight members of the Alabama Supreme court have voted to override Moore’s decision and have ordered the building’s manager to "take all steps necessary to comply [with a federal judge's order to remove the Commandments] ... as soon as practicable."  This isn’t good…is it?

Regardless of the final outcome, this case is prompting a grassroots mobilization of sorts that can only benefit religious liberty here, and Chief Justice Moore gets the credit.  To date, most Americans have simply not been cognizant of the level and ferocity of attacks against their most basic of liberties.  Moore’s courage is providing that awareness and renewing a sense of activism that has here-to-for been lacking.  Sometimes all that is required to attain victory over the long haul is to just show up, stand firm, and keep going back for more.

This was the unequivocal message received from a forum I attended nearly a year ago now, conducted by Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund. His series of seminars focused on the distorted legal application of the term “separation of church and state” and the governmental interference with public religious practices that have been and are the consequence.  The legal applications of the concept of “separation of church and state” are in fact being used to achieve the very opposite of the founders intent.  In objective terms, it is nearly irrefutable that the notion of separation of church and state was intended to protect religious liberty and not be manipulated to oppress it as we see today.  A quick reference to the origins of this travesty, beginning with the personal letter written by then President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury (CT) Baptist Association (that was nefariously utilized out of context) in the landmark case of Everson v. Board of Education in 1947 will bear this out to all but the profoundly deluded.

Wallbuilders, an organization dedicated to the restoration of the moral and religious foundation on which America was built, further points out that: “The Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789, record the months of discussions and debates of the ninety Founding Fathers who framed the First Amendment. Significantly, not only was Thomas Jefferson not one of those ninety who framed the First Amendment, but also, during those debates not one of those ninety Framers ever mentioned the phrase “separation of church and state.” It seems logical that if this had been the intent for the First Amendment-as is so frequently asserted, then at least one of those ninety who framed the Amendment would have mentioned that phrase; none did.”

Indeed, many of the early case victories achieved by the ACLU were enabled less on the merits of Constitutional relevance and case law precedent, than that of flat footed incredulity on the part of the mainstream citizenry who were unprepared to speak out and effectively counter such egregious attacks.  As a result, unfounded legal precedent was established and the war was on.

Success in countering the incessant offenses to religious liberty that is perpetrated by the likes of the ACLU necessarily requires boldness, conviction and activism.  The result of such activism is solid organization and sufficient funding that will sustain an effective response to what are well funded, persistent and organized assaults.  Without such mobilization, we can only hope to stave off the onslaught, when all out victory should be the goal.  We need Moore conviction.

Surely though, the war is not just a legal one. Battles are fought everyday in many incarnations by people like you and me at our places of work, in restaurants and in our neighborhoods.  I know of families today who will not openly say grace before a meal in public, lest they offend anyone.  Each person such as this represents a victory for the anti-God, Anti-American left and their coercive attempts to subjugate religious thought, perspective and expression exclusively to the sanctuaries of the church, the synagogue or home … and eradicate such perspective from public discourse.

Remember, this is a republic--if Judeo-Christian perspective is marginalized from the public arena, so too is it marginalized from the political process.

"This is an example of what is happening in this country: the acknowledgment of God as the moral foundation of law in this nation is being hidden from us," Moore said.  Indeed. And the origins of this disregard lie in the reality that we are letting it happen.  When people of good faith don’t step up, perfidy steps in. We need Moore courage.

Americans now are witnessing the steady and calculated erosion of the principles that have birthed this nation, guided its laws, fueled its success and guaranteed the liberties of its people.  Yet these liberties are being systematically assaulted by forces that seek to depreciate the very foundation of America and move her toward a vision that is unrecognizable by her divinely inspired architects.

Ironically, the ACLU utilizes the Statue of Liberty as its symbol.  Perhaps the real purpose for their use of this symbol is to remind them of their target.

Gary Schneider is the President and founder of TheRealityCheck.Org.

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