liberty and the prohibition of the establishment of any national
religion have been indispensable to the success of America,
especially for Jews and other religious minorities. But the
absurd ruling by a Federal Judge that a monument containing
the Ten Commandments must be removed from outside an Alabama
Courthouse has gone too far. It is an example of Justice Benjamin
Cardozo's warning that "metaphors in law are to be narrowly
watched, for starting as devices to liberate thought, they end
often by enslaving it."1 The phrase "separation of
church and state" is a 19th Century metaphor that appears
in neither the Constitution nor other founding documents, and
it's improper use in Alabama threatens to enslave, not liberate.
Toward Tradition object to the Federal judiciary overstepping
its bounds in ignoring the actual wording of the Constitution
and the underlying intentions of the Founders of our great country;
a country founded on a religious/monotheistic faith that "all
men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights…"
Justice William Rehnquist has written, "The Framers intended
the Establishment Clause to prohibit the designation of any
church as a "national" one. The Clause was also designed
to stop the Federal Government from asserting a preference for
one religious denomination or sect over others." "…
nothing in the Establishment Clause requires government to be
strictly neutral between religion and irreligion."2
the few dissenters to the wording of the 1st Amendment in the
debate over the Bill of Rights were concerned that its wording
might have a tendency "to abolish religion altogether"3
or "to patronize those who possessed no religion at all."4
Over 200 hundred years later, their worst nightmare is coming
true. The unifying principle of this country's founding was
neither atheism nor an anti-religion culture, but a religious/monotheistic
belief in a Creator from whom we derive our natural rights.
The Ten Commandments and Mosaic law are the foundations for
our systems of law and government. As George Washington asked
in his 1796 farewell address to the new nation, "Where
is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the
sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the
instruments of investigation in courts of justice?" And
now, the Federal courts tell us not to even point out this religious
connection as we enter the same courts of justice!
we no longer be allowed to acknowledge this history in public?
Why should we be forced to publicly acknowledge irreligion as
the moral equivalent of religion? The current efforts by the
Federal judiciary to remove any mention of the religious basis
for our great country and the Ten Commandments & Mosaic
law as the foundation of our legal system must be opposed if
the United States is to remain the greatest home in modern history
for Jews and all religious or even non-religious people.
words of Thomas Jefferson, so frequently and erroneously presented
as an atheist, "the God who gave us life, gave us liberty.
And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we
have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds
of the people that these liberties are a gift from God"?
Rabbi Daniel Lapin is the Founder and
Director of Toward
Tradition, working to advance our nation toward the traditional
Judeo-Christian values that defined America's creation.
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 The True Meaning of the Establishment
Clause: A Dissent. Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985).
 Ibid. Statement by Representative Peter
Sylvester of New York.
 Ibid. Statement by Representative Benjamin
Huntington of Connecticut.