America’s Judicial Blackout


In mid-August, over 50 million people in the northeast U.S. and Canada suffered the worst electrical-power blackout in history. In New York City, many were trapped in pitch-black subway tunnels and high-rise office buildings. A mass of people flooded the streets of Manhattan. Like some wartime refugee exodus, thousands had to make their way out of the city on foot. The blackout of 2003 will be vividly remembered as a tense, nightmarish experience.

But there is another kind of blackout happening in the United States that, when fully understood, should terrify every American much more than an electric power blackout.

In late August, many news outlets ran a story about the controversy surrounding a 5,300-pound granite monument of the Ten Commandments in the Alabama state judicial building. The monument, which had been placed there by State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore two years earlier, included excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and other historic documents, as well as quotations from James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and other leaders. It featured our national motto: In God We Trust.

The storm over the monument began when three attorneys, backed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, filed a lawsuit against Judge Moore for unlawfully crossing a constitutional line separating church and state by imposing his own brand of Christianity on the state of Alabama. When Moore placed the monument in the judicial building, he said it depicted “the moral foundations of law” and reflected the “sovereignty of God over the affairs of men.” Moore has been battling to keep it in place since U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson ordered it removed in November 2002. Justice Moore has lost that battle. The monument was moved.

The alarming issue is not the removal of a rock that displays the Commandments, but a federal judge’s misinterpretation of the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s support of his ruling. The First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….” Judge Thompson declared public display of the monument unconstitutional—a violation of the First Amendment. What was the explanation of his interpretation? Thompson stated that the most important issue was, “Can the state acknowledge God?” He dictatorially answered the question, “No.”

Certainly the First Amendment forbids the establishment of any single denomination as a state religion. But does it deny our government the right to acknowledge God? Certainly the Founding Fathers would disagree with Judge Thompson’s statement. It is well documented that they acknowledged God. Our history also shows that this country was established on one specific type of religion: Our founders held sacred Judeo-Christian history, values, culture and law. Until very recently, America has had a rich history of acknowledging God!

British historian Paul Johnson considers John Winthrop “the first great American” in his book A History of the American People. Winthrop, founder of the city of Boston, on board a tiny ship sailing to the New England, spoke the following inspiring words: “Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah [Old Testament prophet], to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God [Mic. 6:8]. … For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill [Matt. 5:14]. The eyes of all people are upon us.” Winthrop, and many like him, saw this land as the New Israel, borrowing heavily from Bible history. He also knew that acknowledging God was the key to the survival and success of the fledgling colonies.

George Washington, first U.S. president, said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” He believed that religion and morality lead to political success. These statements support the belief that for our system of government to survive, we had better acknowledge God.

Judge Moore appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and his case was flatly refused—meaning Judge Thompson’s ruling stands. The Supreme Court obviously agrees that our nation cannot acknowledge God! This same Supreme Court said in June of this year that sodomy is a constitutional right. Think about this. For refusing to comply with the court’s order to remove the monument, Judge Moore has been suspended as a judge because of his so-called criminal activities—and yet, sodomy is now a right? What is going on?

Where is the wisdom in our federal judges? We must face the fact that America is experiencing a judicial blackout. In reality, it is the federal judges that are crossing constitutional lines—making the rule of law in this country say what they and a minority of lawbreakers desire. When our federal judges refuse to acknowledge God—the Founder of all law—then we should not be surprised that sodomy becomes legal.

But it is even more serious than that.

We have ancient Israel’s history as an example. When that nation stopped acknowledging God, it suffered the disastrous effects of war and captivity. Is that America’s future?

Who will stop this trend of degeneracy in America? The federal courts will not. Those men and women are snuffing out the bright light of our Founding Fathers’ vision of a God-fearing, law-abiding American civilization. As John Winthrop said, “the eyes of all people are upon us”—but unfortunately, the “city upon a hill” is descending into darkness.

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