Not since Berlin, 1989, has a big wall taken such a big fall.
This time, it was the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit that blew the trumpet, effectively collapsing the false construct of the so-called "wall of separation between church and state" that for more than 50 years has been the cornerstone of the American Civil Liberties Union's anti-religion agenda.
This wasn't one the ACLU saw coming. Their case—a suit to prevent Mercer County, Kentucky, officials from including a copy of the Ten Commandments in their display of historically significant documents—seemed tight enough, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court had recently ruled against another display in a similar courthouse in another Kentucky county, just 50 miles away.
But the high court's decision drew a clear distinction between religious displays designed to inflict a set of beliefs on others and those merely acknowledging the impact and influence of religious faith on American history and culture. To the collective mind of the Nine in black, the previous display smacked of an "in your face" effort to inoculate the local court with a Christian agenda. The Sixth Circuit jurists, on the other hand, declared Mercer County's display of the Decalogue to be a valid inclusion in any documentation of America's historic legal influences.
The high court's subtle discernment was lost on the ACLU crowd.
"This creates a situation where a court of appeals is essentially ignoring a Supreme Court decision," said Scott Greenwood, an attorney for the ACLU, which long ago lost any hesitation about ignoring or revising the Constitution. "It's a slap in the face."
Technically, it's a slap in the "faces," since the ACLU maintains at least two of them at all times: one that appears one way from a distance and one that appears another way up close. That is, one that claims to speak passionately for the civil rights and constitutional liberties of "all" Americans and one that works with equal fervor to destroy the rights and liberties of many Christians, orthodox Jews, and the unborn of all faiths—many of whom, interestingly enough, are...Americans.
That said, Greenwood's statement is largely true. The ACLU's arguments got slapped hard...but then slapping was once the acknowledged treatment of last resort for people who are hysterically out of control. And the ACLU, with its increasingly paranoid determination to eradicate every trace of religion from America's history, culture, community, and discourse, has become all but unhinged with furthering its agenda of official atheism.
The Sixth Circuit's judges tried to put the hinges back on by bluntly reminding the ACLU-affiliated attorneys of what is, and what is not, in the Constitution.
"The ACLU makes repeated reference to the 'separation of church and state,'" said Judge Richard Suhrheinrich, who wrote the appeals court decision. "This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state."
With that one sentence, Suhrheinrich and his fellow jurists split a sizeable crack in another wall—the Iron Curtain that separates the ACLU's exceedingly narrow, unswervingly radical, and unabashedly atheistic understanding of America from the long-cherished beliefs, history, and heritage of most of its citizens.
For more than half a century, the ACLU has been so adamant in their insistence on their interpretation of the "wall of separation between church and state" that all too many Americans believe those very words are constitutional bedrock.
They aren't. But the actual source of the phrase—an "extraconstitutional" letter from Thomas Jefferson that does not support the ACLU's interpretation either—wasn't nearly as important to them as the color and convenience of the metaphor.
To their minds, religion (and especially the traditional Christian faith) will always be something that contaminates American culture—corrupting our laws, rather than undergirding and informing them. They will always see God as a threat to human freedom, and those who believe in Him as a danger to the ACLU's own thoroughly humanistic agenda.
Trouble is, elections show that most Americans oppose that agenda. Since the ACLU and its allies can't carry their strategies forward at the polls, or in the open arena of ideas, they bully their fellow citizens with imaginary constitutional language and attempt to use judicial fiat to set their will in legal stone.
Well, they've finally met some judges who decline to play along. In Mercer County, Kentucky, the official ACLU game plan has been benched. Maybe that's the beginning of getting truth back into the line-up.
Used by permission, Alliance Defense Fund (www.adflegal.org). All rights reserved