Dan's Meditations

Monday, September 05, 2005

Below is part of the opinion of the Supreme Court in its decision to not allow displays honoring Jesus Christ on public property during the Christmas Season.
Although JUSTICE KENNEDY repeatedly accuses the Court of harboring a "latent hostility" or "callous indifference" toward religion, post, at 657, 664, nothing could be further from the truth, and the accusations could be said to be as offensive as they are absurd. JUSTICE KENNEDY apparently has misperceived a respect for religious pluralism, a respect commanded by the Constitution, as hostility or indifference to religion. No misperception could be more antithetical to the values embodied in the Establishment Clause.
JUSTICE KENNEDY'S accusations are shot from a weapon triggered by the following proposition: if government may celebrate the secular aspects of Christmas, then it must be allowed to celebrate the religious aspects as well because, otherwise, the government would be discriminating against citizens who celebrate Christmas as a religious, and not just a secular, holiday. Post, at 663-664. This proposition, however, is flawed at its foundation. The government does not discriminate against any citizen on the basis of the citizen's religious faith if the government is secular in its functions and operations. On the contrary, the Constitution mandates that the government remain secular, rather than affiliate itself with religious beliefs or institutions, precisely in order to avoid discriminating among citizens on the basis of their religious faiths.
A secular state, it must be remembered, is not the same as an atheistic or antireligious state. A secular state establishes neither atheism nor religion as its official creed. JUSTICE KENNEDY thus has it exactly backwards when he says that enforcing the Constitution's requirement that government [492 U.S. 573, 611] remain secular is a prescription of orthodoxy. Post, at 678. It follows directly from the Constitution's proscription against government affiliation with religious beliefs or institutions that there is no orthodoxy on religious matters in the secular state. Although JUSTICE KENNEDY accuses the Court of "an Orwellian rewriting of history," ibid., perhaps it is JUSTICE KENNEDY himself who has slipped into a form of Orwellian newspeak when he equates the constitutional command of secular government with a prescribed orthodoxy.
To be sure, in a pluralistic society there may be some would-be theocrats, who wish that their religion were an established creed, and some of them perhaps may be even audacious enough to claim that the lack of established religion discriminates against their preferences. But this claim gets no relief, for it contradicts the fundamental premise of the Establishment Clause itself. The antidiscrimination principle inherent in the Establishment Clause necessarily means that would-be discriminators on the basis of religion cannot prevail.
For this reason, the claim that prohibiting government from celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday discriminates against Christians in favor of nonadherents must fail. Celebrating Christmas as a religious, as opposed to a secular, holiday, necessarily entails professing, proclaiming, or believing that Jesus of Nazareth, born in a manager in Bethlehem, is the Christ, the Messiah. If the government celebrates Christmas as a religious holiday (for example, by issuing an official proclamation saying: "We rejoice in the glory of Christ's birth!"), it means that the government really is declaring Jesus to be the Messiah, a specifically Christian belief. In contrast, confining the government's own celebration of Christmas to the holiday's secular aspects does not favor the religious beliefs of non-Christians over those of Christians. Rather, it simply permits the government to acknowledge the holiday without expressing an allegiance to [492 U.S. 573, 612] Christian beliefs, an allegiance that would truly favor Christians over non-Christians. To be sure, some Christians may wish to see the government proclaim its allegiance to Christianity in a religious celebration of Christmas, but the Constitution does not permit the gratification of that desire, which would contradict the "`the logic of secular liberty'" it is the purpose of the Establishment Clause to protect. See Larson v. Valente, 456 U.S., at 244 , quoting B. Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution 265 (1967).
Of course, not all religious celebrations of Christmas located on government property violate the Establishment Clause. It obviously is not unconstitutional, for example, for a group of parishioners from a local church to go caroling through a city park on any Sunday in Advent or for a Christian club at a public university to sing carols during their Christmas meeting. Cf. Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263 (1981). 58 The reason is that activities of this nature do not demonstrate the government's allegiance to, or endorsement of, the Christian faith.
Equally obvious, however, is the proposition that not all proclamations of Christian faith located on government property are permitted by the Establishment Clause just because they occur during the Christmas holiday season, as the example of a Mass in the courthouse surely illustrates. And once the judgment has been made that a particular proclamation of Christian belief, when disseminated from a particular location on government property, has the effect of demonstrating the government's endorsement of Christian faith, then it necessarily follows that the practice must be enjoined to protect the constitutional rights of those citizens who follow some creed other than Christianity. It is thus incontrovertible that the Court's decision today, premised on the determination that the creche display on the Grand Staircase demonstrates [492 U.S. 573, 613] the county's endorsement of Christianity, does not represent a hostility or indifference to religion but, instead, the respect for religious diversity that the Constitution requires. 59
Here is the thing. As far as I can tell, those on the Supreme Court who voted in favor for not allowing displays honoring Jesus Christ on public property were the ones who accurately interpreted the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. There are many evangelical Christians who can not or will not see this fact for what it is. So, what do they do? Some try to figure out a way to display these decorations that honor Jesus on public property without violating the establishment clause. Or, if honoring Jesus on public property is not important to them, they simply compromise. But very few Christians see what the secularists see plainly: The only way it may be lawful and logically consistent to allow displays that honor Jesus on public property is to overturn the Establishment Clause and establish a theocracy.
So be it. The Establishment Clause is preventing the full glorious praise of God from being expressed. Therefore, it is evil. It ought to be overturned. As a nation, we should submit to Jesus Christ, and give Him the glory that is due His Name. If we do not do this, justice will never be established. For justice demands that Christ is worshipped.
Let us take a closer look at one particular part of the majority's opinion:
"To be sure, in a pluralistic society there may be some would-be theocrats, who wish that their religion were an established creed, and some of them perhaps may be even audacious enough to claim that the lack of established religion discriminates against their preferences. But this claim gets no relief, for it contradicts the fundamental premise of the Establishment Clause itself. The antidiscrimination principle inherent in the Establishment Clause necessarily means that would-be discriminators on the basis of religion cannot prevail."
Yes, I am a theocrat who wishes that Christianity was the established creed, and I do suggest audaciously that by refusing to establish Christianity, the government is discriminating against my preferences. Worse, since the government refuses to render unto Christ the worship due his name, the government is not neutral; rather, it is fighting against Christ - who has demanded total obedience. If the government does not fully submit to Christ, then the members of the government are not neutral; they are in rebellion. Christ's demands are total.
The idea that by refusing to acknowledge Jesus Christ, our Founding Fathers found a way to prevent discriminators from prevailing is ridiculous. Because we are created in the image of God, life (and all that life entails - including governing the affairs of men) is essentially a religious experience - so to speak. All laws are set up to establish peoples' ideas of justice. So, today, you have Christianity - which asserts very clearly many essential doctrines about life. The government will not establish laws respecting the establishment of Christianity. However, the government is established. And it is established on idolatry of all different kinds and names. Call it postmodernism or secular humanism or whatever, there is a religion (or perhaps several competing religions) on which our laws are based. But since those who follow these anti-Christian religions are not organized and named and easily identifiable, they are the ones who dominate government.
What I am saying is that the members of the ACLU are religious. They are religiously committed to stopping the adament worship of Christ. They may say that they are not, that they are merely opposed to the worship of Christ in public. But again, Christ's claims are total. If He is not being given the honor and praise due His name in public, then He is really not being worshipped on His own terms. The members of the ACLU have an anti-Christian religion - that they believe in very deeply. They believe - so they speak. They believe - so they fight. They are very religious - even though their religion is filled with logical fallacies and they haven't named their religion or even organized it under the banner "religion." But, in spite of the lack of "religious" semantics, the plain truth is obvious.
Religious plurality = polytheism. We are a nation with many gods (idols). The idolatry must be torn down.
Lift high the cross of Jesus Christ.

Justice and Politics

Christopher Hitchens thinks he is pretty smart. He also thinks that he understands justice. It is his opinion that obeying God is the big problem that leads to injustice in politics. God obviously gets in the way of justice - so men of faith in the God of the Bible must deny their faith for the sake of justice. (See article: http://slate.msn.com/id/2123780/)

What drives me absolutely crazy is that most evangelical Christians agree! Actually, most evangelical Christians don't have the intellect, faith, or courage to stand up and answer these godless and stupid arguments. Too many Christians actually think that in order to have justice, we must not let Supreme Court Justices be influenced by the wisdom of the Bible as they make their decisions. Rather, Supreme Court Justices must simply see to it that our Founding Father's contradicting philosophy of government (i.e. the Constitution) be upheld. Certainly, there is no higher authority above the Constitution and those men who wrote it.

I would opine that Supreme Court Justices have a duty to do justly. The Bible speaks authoritatively about justice. It says that a righteousness from heaven is revealed by faith and that the just shall live by faith. God's law is just. God is just. Basing every decision on God's word is the only way to achieve justice. To set aside the Bible is to throw out justice. To prevent Supreme Court Justices from operating in faith (with fidelity / fide) is to trample on justice. Those without faith (infidels / infide) can not do justly.

Sadly, too many Christian do not love God with all of their minds. Too many Christians do not know how to reason well. Too many Christians do not value justice. And too many Christians are intimidated by the intellect of secular heretics like Christopher Hitchens.

Christopher wants Supreme Court justices to be committed to the law and the constitution. What about justice!?!?!?! What if the law is not just? What if the Constitution is not just?

There is a higher law than the Constitution. There is God's law. There is God's Holy and Righteous Word. Those who sell their souls out to our postmodern culture will surely be judged by the Ultimate Supreme Judge.

I already hear the objections from both the liberal leftist secularist heretics and the conservative right religious heretics. "Dan, you are calling for a theocracy."

That's right. Our government should submit to God's laws. God's laws ought to be the basis for our system of government. Without God, there is not justice. If we do not base our laws on His laws, then our entire government is rooted in idolatry. A government rooted in idolatry will in one way or another put pressure on God's people to embrace idolatry. And that is just what is happening. See the public educational brainwashing scheme.

This is not just. Now, I am fully aware that persecution will simply expose who the real believers are from the non-believers. But that does not mean that those who do the persecuting are doing right, and furthermore, we Christians should not celebrate persecution. We should celebrate God when we are persecuted - but we shouldn't celebrate the evil injustice that persecution is. Inasmuch as we can do something to stop it, we should.

Conclusions: God created us all in His image and with certain rights. The reason why we have laws against murder and rape and theft and all kinds of other wickedness is for the sake of fulfilling justice. Justice is the act of rendering honor to whom honor is due. Thus, in order to be just, we must worship and praise God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength. If any man speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If we are to have a government at all, it ought to be for the purpose of glorifying God. Everything we do and say ought to be for God's glory and in accordance with the Holy Scriptures.

So, to answer Christopher's question on whether or not it would be heresy to allow a secularist (heretic) sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. The answer is: Most Definately.

May God's Kingdom come and God's will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. May God arise and His enemies be scattered.

Justice, justice, you shall pursue. You must. Or you shall burn in hell.