Religiously Based Divisiveness

The following is an excerpt from the book The Tyranny of Tolerance: A Sitting Judge Breaks the Code of Silence to Expose the Liberal Judicial Assault, by Judge Robert H. Dierker Jr.:

“Religiously Based Divisiveness”

Even Justice Stephen Breyer has recognized the danger of attempting to purge religion from public life. In 2005, voting to allow a Ten Commandments monument at the Texas capitol, he wrote:

“[T]o reach a contrary conclusion here, based primarily upon the religious nature of the tablets’ text would, I fear, lead the law to exhibit a hostility toward religion that has no place in our Establishment Clause traditions. Such a holding might well encourage disputes concerning the removal of longstanding depictions of the Ten Commandments from public buildings across the Nation. And it could thereby create the very kind of religiously based divisiveness that the Establishment Clause seeks to avoid.”

Ten Commandments monument

Ten Commandments monument

Don’t look now, Justice Breyer, but the federal judiciary’s hostility to religion has provoked divisiveness. Thus, students who desire to conduct prayer meetings or similar religious-based activities on public property must fight for the right — and, unlike in the ACLU cases, they do not inevitably win. Student religious clubs have been denied equal access to school facilities to conduct their activities. Persons of faith at the United States Air Force Academy have been the target of an investigation that would be labeled McCarthyite, if religion (evangelical Christian religion) were not the focus.

Of course, to liberals, it’s the faithful themselves who are responsible for the divisiveness. When Justice Stevens referred to the ‘deluge’ of cases, he did not mention that the ACLU has contrived most, if not all, of this litigation by rounding up wiccans and assorted gadfly atheists to sow such ‘divisiveness.’ The identity of the plaintiffs in such cases is a testament to how little discord there really is.

In one of the Ten Commandments cases the Supreme Court decided in 2005, Justice David Souter smugly referred to the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in sixteenth-century France and the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s persecution of heretics in the seventeenth-century, then added that “the divisiveness of religion in current public life is inescapable.” What twaddle! The idea that the fish symbol on the city seal of Republic, Missouri, is comparable to religious wars from centuries ago would be perfectly ludicrous if it were not symptomatic of a powerful antireligious sentiment pervading the legal and judicial elite. If there is ‘divisiveness’ attributable to religion in twenty-first-century America, it is almost entirely the product of the ACLU and associated antireligious organizations using the federal courts to suppress public religious expression, in and out of government. And don’t forget the Supreme Court’s determination to exalt sexual deviancy and obscenity in the face of the moral and religious beliefs of the overwhelming majority of people in the country.

The Supreme Court has tied itself in knots in trying to come up with a ‘neutral’ position on religion in the public square. The Ten Commandments cases decided by the Court in 2005 revealed the tortured logic: The Court approved the monument at the Texas capitol but barred displays at two Kentucky courthouses. In the Pledge of Allegiance case, Justice Thomas rightly noted that the Court’s “jurisprudential confusion” over how to interpret the establishment clause “has led to results that can only be described as silly.”

But in fighting to maintain ‘neutrality’ on religion, the liberal jurists have done something far worse than silly. They have interpreted the establishment clause to mean that the government cannot ‘endorse’ any religion or all religion without threatening liberty. As noted, even the so-called moderate Justice O’Connor obsessed about government ‘endorsement’ of religion — We cannot have that, because that sends a message of exclusion. That’s intolerant. She came up with a rationale (‘ceremonial deism’) that would authorize government recognition of God or religion only on the basis that, over time, the context of the recognition has lost all overtly religious significance and is on par with a St. Patrick’s Day or Columbus Day parade.

Pittsburgh-Nativity-Christmas-Creche

Pittsburgh Nativity Christmas Creche

This sort of analysis is seriously flawed. Endorsement of religion is simply not the same thing as establishment of religion. Think of it this way: The establishment clause does not establish atheism. At least, it cannot be construed to do so. But in the hands of the ACLU and the liberal judiciary, the establishment clause virtually demands that the government be atheistic.

This is not tolerance; this is not neutrality; this is implacable hostility toward religion and the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage. By insisting that the government must be ‘neutral,’ the Supreme Court has appealed to what Justice Antonin Scalia called the “demonstrably false principle that the government cannot favor religion over irreligion.” The relentless liberal persecution of religion in the public square has done more than maintain a ‘wall of separation’; it has tumbled the wall over onto people of faith.

Religion is not a communicable diseases, to be quarantined. It is the wellspring of law and moral valued in American civilization. The government can and should recognize this fact. If such recognition means permitting voluntary prayer, referring to God in the Pledge of Allegiance, allowing crosses on public property (even when not erected by the KKK), and monuments to the Ten Commandments in courthouses, the courts need not interfere. The atheist who resents the Nativity scene at Christmas is no more disqualified from the privileges and immunities of a citizen than is the Muslim who resents seeing a menorah.

The Grinch (still from movie)Isn’t that the real tolerance contemplated by the First Amendment? Americans may espouse any religion or no religion; their representatives may recognize the community significance of any religion or no religion, so long as that recognition carries no penalty or public subsidy. If Allegheny County wants to put up a Nativity scene in the rotunda of the county government building at Christmas, let it! If New York wants to display a menorah at Hanukkah, let it! Atheists can rejoice that for the other three hundred odd days of the year, government ignores God and religion.

Here, here!, Finally, some clear thinking on the matter — and by a federal circuit judge!

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