The Chilling Effect of Ignorance~ Judge Roy Moore
Posted by wordforit on January 29, 2008
Seventeen-year-old Andrew Larochelle of Ohio was shocked when he got back the flag he had sent to the United States Capitol to be flown in honor of his grandfather. Andrew, an Eagle Scout and proud grandson, had requested that the flag’s certificate read, “In honor of my grandfather, Marcel Larochelle, and his dedication and love of God, country and family.” Instead, the certificate conspicuously omitted the word “God” from the personalized message, thanks to a new censorship policy by acting Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers.
Ayers’s bureaucratic audacity touched off a firestorm of criticism from private citizens as well as elected representatives, eventually forcing Ayers to reverse his policy Oct. 11. But Ayers’s absurd decision reflects an ever-growing trend among public officials and private citizens alike who have been taught to believe that the Constitution actually prohibits the acknowledgment of God by anyone even remotely associated with state or federal government.
Another ridiculous example occurred in East Brunswick, N.J., where school officials ordered high school football coach Marcus Borden to stop bowing his head or “taking a knee” when his players prayed before meals or a game. A federal district court sided with Coach Borden’s right to join in prayer, but now East Brunswick school officials, along with their lawyers from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, are appealing the decision to try and stop Borden from showing any sort of agreement or participation in the student-led prayer.
Hardly a day goes by without another example of people being told they are no longer allowed to recognize the sovereignty of Almighty God. The Constitution is wrongfully blamed as the reason that schools, courts and institutions across America must purge any reference to God by public officials. While the Constitution says no such thing, to many judges and lawyers that hardly matters.
For decades, we have been told that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits school prayer, Bible reading in schools, the public display of the Ten Commandments, and on and on; even though anybody can plainly read that the words say, in regards to religion, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The First Amendment actually restricts the government and not the people; it prohibits a “law,” not a voluntary expression of our faith in God. The Constitution is, according to Article VI thereof, “the supreme Law of the Land”; however, too many Americans have believed the lie uttered by former Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes: “We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.” When the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court contradict the clear meaning and intent of the Constitution, and yet we still follow them as constitutional law, we have replaced our rule of law with rule by men.
Is history just repeating itself? In the Protestant Reformation, men like Martin Luther, John Wycliff and John Huss were persecuted or killed for translating the Bible into the language of the people so that men and women would understand its clear meaning. This contradicted the official position of the powerful but corrupt church at Rome. By bringing the word of God directly to the people, these reformers were undermining the self-appointed role of the pope as the only acceptable interpreter of the Scriptures. The more people read and understood for themselves what the Bible said, the more difficult it became for priests and bishops to justify abuses of their positions.
Likewise, keeping the people in a fog about the Constitution not only lets judges grab unlawful power, it makes the job of groups like the ACLU and Americans United that much easier by convincing public officials to err on the side of caution by running from anything touching upon God or religion. A “chilling effect” results from such general ignorance, and it quietly squelches or censors public prayer or recognitions of God to an extent that not even the most liberal courts would require. Then public officials end up restricting or surrendering the religious liberty the First Amendment was intended to protect.
That’s why the architect of the Capitol deletes “God” from flag certificates and East Brunswick School District commands its football coach to stop participating in prayers. They are scared of what they erroneously think the Constitution says. And all the while the real Constitution gets forgotten, obscured, or simply dismissed as a “living” document.
God once told the people of Israel, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” The less we the people know about our Constitution, the more easily our elected and unelected officials can take our rights from us – and all along claim that the law requires it.
Mr. Ayers finally admitted that he was wrong for censoring flag certificate messages like that of Andrew Larochelle’s, stating that “it is inappropriate and beyond the scope of this agency’s responsibility” to do so. It is time that we too recognize that courts act inappropriately and beyond the scope of their authority whenever they censor the recognition of a sovereign God. “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance,” wrote James Madison, the architect of the Constitution. “And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
Judge Roy Moore is the chairman of the Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Ala., and the author of “So Help Me God.” He is the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was removed from office in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument he had placed in the Alabama Judicial Building to acknowledge God.
Judge Roy Moore Archives (in WorldNetDaily.com)