The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Rather straight forward language! The limitation is clearly on Congress. This, as the other articles of the Federal Bill of Rights, adopted in 1791, was intended to protect the people from intrusive acts by the new Federal Government; hence the language is phrased to prohibit action by the Federal Legislature. It does not suggest, aspire or pretend to create any new right, or to limit any other body, individual or corporate, in any regard whatsoever.
Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, declared adopted in 1868--though not without an ongoing controversy as to whether it was in fact legally adopted;--provides: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Sections 2, 3 & 4, were basically intended to punish the South for secession, and were either dated, or are irrelevant to our purpose. Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment provides: The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
One may search the Congressional debates, both preceding and contemporaneous with the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, without finding any suggestion that it was ever intended or seen to confer power on either Congress or the Courts to limit the public expression of religious sentiment or belief.
Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution provides in relevant part: The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
Section 2 of that Article provides in part: In all other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make. (The non-quoted parts of the Section define generally the class of cases to which the Federal judicial power extends, and as to which of those the Federal Supreme Court has original jurisdiction. Since First Amendment cases come in under the appellate jurisdiction, after originating in a Federal District Court, the above are the only passages relevant to our subject.)
The Native American, most commonly and closely associated with the principles of the First Amendment, was Thomas Jefferson. And, while this is true as to all provisions; it is most distinctly and universally so in the case of the first two clauses, those that deal with the separation of Church and Congress, and with freedom of religion. It was Jefferson, after all, who had just authored the 1786 ACT for establishing RELIGIOUS FREEDOM in Virginia. That Act begins with these five clauses:
Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who, being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; [containing four different, clear and unambiguous acknowledgments of God].
You will note that, in effect, Jefferson attributes our system of religious freedom to the "Holy Author of our religion." The very concept is premised upon the acts of a specific deity. Or how else can even the most extreme secular humanist interpret the quoted language?!
It was also Jefferson, who coined the phrase, so often quoted by the foes of any religious observance in a public institution, to characterize those clauses as building a wall of separation between church and State, in a New Year's day, 1802, letter to Connecticut Baptists.
We cited Jefferson's comments on the Church directed Welfare system that prevailed at the time of Independence, in Chapter 1 of this Handbook, to show how the Collectivist "Liberals" have violated the Separation of Church and State in our time. It was Jefferson, also, who in founding the University of Virginia, had inscribed as its motto, the language from the Book of John (8:32): And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
Jefferson closed his First Inaugural Address on March 4, 1801, with these words:
And may that Infinite Power which rules the destinies of the universe lead our councils to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your peace and prosperity.
In his Second Inaugural Address, exactly four years later, he said:
In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of State or church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies. [In a famous Presidential letter to the Rev. Samuel Miller, on January 23, 1808, Jefferson made further First Amendment distinction between State and Federal religious action.]
Jefferson concluded the Second Inaugural Address: I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land, and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with his providence, and our riper years with his wisdom and power; and to whose goodness I ask you to join with me in supplications, that he will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures, that whatsoever they do, shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.
Before he left office, Jefferson again displayed the same reverential acknowledgment of our ultimate dependence upon a living God, in the conclusion to his final State of the Union address, November 8, 1808: I carry with me the consolation of a firm persuasion that Heaven has in store for our beloved country long ages to come of prosperity and happiness.
So spoke the foremost champion of American religious freedom, while acting in his official capacity as our foremost public servant. Nor were the sentiments of his successor, James Madison, who has been dubbed the Father of the Constitution, any different:
my confidence ... that which we have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising Republic, and to whom we are bound to address our devout gratitude for the past, as well as our fervent supplications and best hopes for the future. [Inaugural Address, March 4, 1809]
And yet today, under the pretext that the Complainants are enforcing the Bill of Rights, schools and Court Houses have been ordered to take down the Ten Commandments; Public High School Valedictorians, known to be practicing Christians, have had their addresses cancelled, their texts subjected to prior restraint, even denied publication as dissents in their school newspapers, for no other reason than that they affirmed a personal belief in the same God the founders of America honored on virtually every public opportunity. Leftwing members of Congress and various State Legislatures have intoned on the need for legislation against "hate"; proposals, which would make it a criminal offense to proclaim the basic religious teaching that homosexuality is an abomination, or to treat those of other faiths as less worthy of favor or salvation, whether in Heaven or on earth; clear restraints on religious freedom, coupled with new programs to condition school children to be less fervent in pursuing the faith of their fathers throughout their lives. And in the midst of all of this, the former President of the United States--as though to mock everything yet decent in America--proclaimed June, 1999, "'Gay' & Lesbian Pride month." (An affront repeated in June, 2000.)
In the 1960s, America's freedom of conscience--the very core of meaningful religion--was severely curtailed by legislation under the banner of Civil Rights, which made it a criminal offense for a businessman or property owner to accord a racial or religious preference on his own pay roll or property; and the media and educationalist establishment have proven such abject lickspittles for the nostrums of the far left, that most Americans under 50 now accept this dispensation as only fair and reasonable! Is it? Is it reasonable to say that the Government shall be the conscience of the individual as to what is the fair and acceptable way for that individual to spend his money? Does it accord with the principle of the freedom to exercise religion, to deny the right to determine that people who share a certain spiritual insight or motivation may make better, more trust worthy, employees than others without that insight or motivation?! Does not the right to practice a religion include the right to believe that that religion confers character benefits upon those who embrace it?
But to recur to the question of religious observance in public buildings, we look again to Jefferson. In an 1822 letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper on plans for the University of Virginia, our retired third President spoke fondly of the religious use of his own County Court House: In our village of Charlottesville, there is a good degree of religion, with a small spice only of fanaticism. We have four sects, but without either church or meeting-house. The court-house is the common temple, one Sunday in the month to each.
But of course, then, we did not have the benefit of the ACLU or activist Judges, who saw their mission to employ the techniques of sophistry and obfuscation; not to vindicate American freedom, but to distort the terminology of that freedom out of any relationship to what the Fathers intended. To fight that distortion effectively, you must understand how it has been brought about.
Forty years ago, the Veritas Foundation (headed by President Theodore Roosevelt's son Archibald) published a staff study on The Great Deceit, Social Pseudo-Sciences, which carefully documented the Fabian Socialist assault upon the American Social Sciences and legal system during the first six decades of the past Century. After dealing at length with the antics of former Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter--whom Roosevelt's father once compared to Leon Trotsky (ibid.., p.295)--the study described the birth of the ACLU:
Frankfurter organized the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920, in company with Morris Hillquit (head of the American Socialist Party), Laski, Roger N. Baldwin, Jane Addams, Harry F. Ward, A.J. Muste, Scott Nearing and Norman Thomas. This organization was a socialist front pure and simple. (ibid.., p. 327.) The study went on to show that known Communists were also permitted high positions in the new organization.
Yet despite its antecedents, the ACLU has always enjoyed a respectability not accorded to other organizations headed by the same group of individuals. How and why? The answer is in a mastery of the Fabian technique of seeming to be something very different than they actually are.
Rather than a force for socialist repression, the ACLU has managed to create an image as the foremost American defender of individual liberty--of the right of the individual to be free of excessive Government. Thus, despite their suspect origin, the organization has achieved a wide following, even among moderate civil libertarians. And yet you would have waited in vain to hear them speak out in the debate against the Clinton Administration, for incessantly seeking to limit the individual's right to self defense, by restricting his Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. You will wait in vain to hear them speak out against the excesses of Government in the field of "Civil Rights" (ie. Governmentally created rights opposed to the pre-Governmental, God endowed liberties, such legislation is designed to curb). An over-taxed generation will also wait in vain for them to oppose a tax structure that in the words of Kipling (see below) robs selective Peter, to pay for collective Paul.
To the American mainstream, these incursions threaten the Civil Liberties of all Americans; but that threat is no concern of the ACLU. Indeed, individual leaders of the ACLU have been prominent in attacking the whole concept of the God endowed Liberty, so sacred to the Fathers.
Almost the entire focus of the ACLU has been either on the First Amendment--on questions of religion, speech and assembly--or on the rights of criminal defendants. But even on the First Amendment, the approach has been peculiarly skewed towards a not always obvious agenda. It is important that the would be Conservative spokesman understand the pattern that has emerged. Let us try to make obvious, what others have obscured.
The ACLU leadership has long understood the concept, and use, of the high visibility case. In earlier years, they were conspicuous in defense of those accused of various forms of sedition, of conscientious objectors to military service, and of groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, whose faith caused them to often stand out, because they would insist on going door to door to proselytize, while refusing to pledge allegiance to the flag in school assemblies. While many of these cases involved an extension of Federal judicial intrusion into State and local affairs, the principles for which the ACLU contended were not totally without merit--and indeed, had they been brought in State rather than Federal Court, would in many cases (though certainly not all) have had the support of some Conservatives. But, involving an appeal for Federal intervention into local affairs, they usually managed to garner an unusual degree of visibility, far indeed beyond the community actually under attack. And, above all, they created the image of an organization, ever ready to stand up for the sacred liberty of the unpopular, the downtrodden and oppressed.
In 1978, a marginal group calling themselves the American Nazi Party proposed a march, featuring banners and slogans deliberately intended to be offensive to ethnic Jews, into Skokie, Illinois, a predominantly Jewish community in suburban Chicago, despite a local refusal to sanction the march. The real issue, of course, had little to do with the First Amendment guarantees against Congressional interference with Free Speech, or Freedom of Assembly, since no one was trying to tell the "Nazis" they could not assemble on their own turf, in their own communities, and speak to their hearts' content. That is not the same thing as a right to go into other people's communities, to try to force them to listen to a form of speech, deliberately calculated to offend. There is also the obvious point that this march was not intended to further the avowed aims of the marchers. If their purpose really was to convince others of the merits of their anti-Jewish diatribe, they were preaching to those least likely to buy the message.
Clearly, the purpose was provocation, not persuasion. Clearly, the purpose was to alarm those to whom the message would appear to be a threat; at the same time, making reasoned discussion of ethnic or religious issues appear tainted and suspect in the climate of reciprocal hatred being deliberately engendered. [To understand how "Liberals" (Fabian Socialists), actual Nazis and Communists all use each others' excesses to advantage against the rest of us, see our essays on the "Compulsion For Uniformity," below.] And, of course, the ACLU took the "Nazi" case, parading once again their apparent dedication to unfettered free speech and public debate. The organization, which had defended the rights of religious dissenters to opt out of public ceremonies, in the name of religious Liberty, did not recognize the right of the Jews in Skokie to opt out of allowing their streets--paved by their local tax dollars--to be tied up by persons coming in from outside their community (some from very far outside), to use those same streets to call for the extermination of the local citizens!
The public perception of the ACLU is, thus, of an organization that puts the freedom to advocate the unpopular cause above all else--the true disciples of Voltaire. But the public need to probe a little deeper:
In 1959, an investigator for the Richmond (Virginia) News Leader--then under the brilliant editorship of James Jackson Kilpatrick--managed to capture a copy of the February 4th Minutes of the Mass Media Committee of the Consultative Conference on Desegregation (an organization composed of 29 "member agencies," including the ACLU, a number of ultra liberal religious groups, and many organizations openly devoted to the forced integration of virtually every aspect of American Society.) On February 27, 1959, Kilpatrick published these on the editorial page. The document showed the ACLU up to their eyeballs in a publicity shy Conference bent, not upon promoting free inquiry and open debate upon the most controversial issue of the day, but upon manipulation of the media, and distortion both of issue and fact.
The point is not that the "Liberal" (ie. Fabian leadership) of the ACLU may not involve themselves in promoting collectivist causes, in league with other collectivist egalitarian groups. The point is that, if they were active participants in a movement seeking to distort racial issues, to gain an advantage for those advocating forced race mixing and affirmative action; their widely touted defense of so-called "Nazis" in Illinois, and their frequent publicity seeking defenses of local groups, calling themselves the "Klu Klux Klan," in other areas; may not be the classic liberal celebration of Voltaire's famed quotation, but rather a cynical effort to demonize all opposition, by focusing a spotlight on groups and individuals, easy to caricature in the liberal media. But consider more closely the CCD minutes.
Among all the groups, Alan Reitman of the ACLU was given the job of talking to the Associated Press, United Press International and Editor and Publisher, on the subject of "race labeling"; and it is very clear from the context, that it was not to assure them that the ACLU wanted to defend the right of a free press to report on race! Mr. Reitman also agreed to contact Life "again," concerning a proposed article on the role of the clergy in the South "in supporting law and equality." Apparently, the ACLU's scruples, on the separation of Church and State, did not extend to situations where Church intervened in matters of State on the side of the ACLU's own social agenda.
The busy Mr. Reitman also agreed to suggest, what was deemed a useful human interest article on students returning to desegregated public schools from private schools and tutoring classes, to The New York Times. Again, an exercise in trying to condition public attitudes rather than vindicate civil liberty or a right of dissent.
The Committee minutes show particular concern over the publication, in paid newspaper ads across America, of an open letter which Carleton Putnam had sent to President Eisenhower, questioning both the fairness & historic bases for the School Integration cases; while challenging the social assumptions that the Warren Court had made in reaching its sweeping conclusion in Brown vs. Board of Education, the decision by which the Court swept aside 110 years of legal precedent, and overturned the educational systems in 17 Southern and Border States.
Carleton Putnam was a well educated and articulate Northerner; a former Airline Executive and the author of a then recently published and widely heralded biography of Theodore Roosevelt. In challenging the unproven--and indeed disproven assumptions of the Court and Justice Department--Putnam wrote not in the rhetoric, or with the animosity and hatred displayed by many of the ACLU's well publicized clients; but in measured and compassionate terms, seeking answers, as much in the interest of the Negro minority as of the White majority. The plea in that original letter, and in those that followed to the Attorney General and others--as well as in two books, written later on the subject--displayed the perspective of a religious Christian, seeking racial understanding rather than compulsive propaganda; scientific inquiry rather than the suppression of debate, being promoted on the Left. And, as in the case of Reggie White, the great Negro athlete and Christian Minister, who sought such understanding from a different vantage point, over a generation later, the self-anointed apostles of "civil liberty" were having none of it!
The publicity shy Committee wanted its members to have their local units "check with editors and publishers about the problem." When such ads appeared in the North, they wanted to get Southerners to write dissenting letters to the editor, and to ask the editors to include editorials rebutting the ads, or at least to run "news articles" in the same issue, "quoting opponents of segregation." In short an orchestrated, rigged debate, by a manipulative but coordinated hand behind the scenes. No where was there the suggestion that the publicity avoiding Conference show its role, publicly--as for example by running its own ad, or challenging Carleton Putnam to a public debate. (He would have been eager to accept!)
Is there a common denominator between the publicity seeking ACLU in Skokie, and the publicity shy ACLU in the Consultative Conference on Desegregation? We think there is. But it is a connection better understood by Communists and real Nazis than by the American mainstream.
It was settled law that the First Amendment was not applicable to the States, before the "adoption" of the Fourteenth Amendment. The latter, a creature of the Radical Reconstruction Congress, did indeed seek to change the basic Constitutional structure; but what the ACLU and activist Twentieth Century Justices have written into it, goes far beyond anything ever envisioned by even the most radical Reconstructionist.
The debates in Congress show clearly that the Amendment was intended to drastically change local law in many areas, as it pertained to legal disabilities imposed because of race. There were also a few--really very few--discussions as to its effect on religious bodies. In summary, those few amounted to this: It was seen as a basis to prevent a State from imposing a specific denial of equal right, before the law, to individual members of an out of favor religious denomination. But no one ever suggested that it would limit the right of a State or community to promote--in a non-denominational way--a reverence for the Creator, or a sense of dependence upon His ultimate Power.
Nor is there anything in the language (above)--which could possibly justify the United States Supreme Court in finding that the Fourteenth Amendment somehow made the specific limitation on Congress, in the First Amendment, applicable to the States. Nor did the Supreme Court in the opinion written by Hugo Black in Engel vs. Vitale, Jr.--the 1962 case, by which the Court first effectively forbade any school prayer--offer any explanation other than the bald-faced assertion (370 U.S. 421, 423) that the First Amendment of the Federal Constitution ...commands that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"--a command which was "made applicable to the State of New York by the Fourteenth Amendment of the said Constitution."
Mr. Justice Black, so far from justifying the assertion which he put in quotations, didn't even deign to tell us who he was quoting, or from whence that quotation on applicability came. There are numerous clauses in the Fourteenth Amendment--see above--but none which apply on their face. Surely, America deserved a better explanation of the perceived nexus, than we were offered.
[Note, also, that a purported justification for applying one First Amendment principle to the States via the Fourteenth Amendment, under one set of facts and the issues in a particular case, could never logically justify a generalization that the latter Amendment established that applicability in every case, under all sets of facts, and as to all issues. The logical error would be the same as if we were to claim that, because their written opinions demonstrate that the leaders on the Warren Supreme Court were "airheads"--ie. intellectually vapid individuals, using sophistry to argue from emotional wish lists rather than demonstrable fact--every "Liberal" was an airhead. We have actually met several who weren't!]
The opinion did go on to generalize what the Court claimed the Founding Fathers meant by the Establishment Clause--ie. that Congress cannot establish a State Church--out of all recognition by legal historians; citing Madison and Jefferson's work in disestablishing the Episcopal Church in Virginia in the 1780s. But that establishes no nexus. Nobody, prior to Hugo Black and the Warren Court, ever considered a simple non-denominational acknowledgment of our dependence upon a Creator as an "Establishment of Religion."
The prayer forbidden in the Engel case was as follows:
Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.
No one who objected to that prayer, was required to recite it.
We have already quoted the actual views of Jefferson and Madison on public dependence upon Almighty God. To pin down the point with absolute finality, we refer to the Declaration Of Independence, itself. While the power of the Federal Government comes wholly from the Constitution, it is not so with the States that created that Constitution, and delegated the Federal powers. Their assumption of sovereignty--the right of self-government--is in the Declaration; and it speaks very clearly, indeed, on the subject of that New York prayer:
When ...it becomes necessary for one people to ...assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them...
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created..., that they are endowed by their Creator ...
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America...appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions...
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Our whole system, then, is founded on four assumptions:
1. There is a God of Nations, who establishes the place of nations.
2. He created man.
3. He endowed man.
4. He is the Supreme Judge of human conduct.
We may argue how best to honor God! We may, individually, even deny His very existence--at our own individual risk. But what we may not do, if heritage and honorable commitment mean anything, is to deny our fellow Americans their right to celebrate that heritage and renew that commitment to the God, before Whom the Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, in the cause that gave us the liberty to even hold this debate.
To those who believe in the God of the Fathers, the New York prayer was little more than simple courtesy; no more intrusive than suggesting that students say "please" and "thank you" when addressing their teachers.
There are two other significant legal points. First, the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment is highly suspect. In an excellent little book, published just four years after the Engel decision, Of Men And Not Of Law, Lyman A. Garber offers this assessment [p. 145]:
Its sections were so crammed with provisions lending themselves to any desired construction, and so hostile to the nation's federal nature, that it could only have been given serious consideration in the intemperate political atmosphere of those days. Sober arguments pointed to its dangers. Loyal and far-seeing men battled against it.
Ranged in its favor were the vengeful forces of the Reconstruction. They pushed the measure through Congress and then drove ruthlessly to wrest approval from the States. Felix Morley says [Freedom and Federalism, p. 80]:
Second, Congress, even with the Fourteenth Amendment, still retains the clear right, both under Article III, Sections 1 & 2, and under Section 5 of the Amendment itself, to prevent litigants attacking religious freedom from even going into Federal Court. Once enough grass-roots Conservatives understand this, we will have a remedy at hand; not only for the Judicial denial of the right to school prayer, but for most of the ongoing interference in State and local law enforcement, legislative apportionment, school attendance, abortion, etc.. A simple act, redefining the jurisdiction of the Federal District Courts, could reverse much of the judicial usurpation of the past sixty years.
We have already mentioned the former President's wholly outrageous designation of the month of June as "Gay [sic] & Lesbian Pride Month," in both 1999 and in 2000. That those, who are so quick to protest any Governmental action to promote religious sentiment, do not see--or do not choose to see--that the President did precisely that (i.e., in this case, promote a religious dogma directly challenging that of any of the denominations to whom the Pentateuch is sacred), tells us much. If it would be a violation of the Separation of Church and State, for the Federal Government to publicly endorse the position taken by the Southern Baptists in 1998, on sex and sex roles, as the official morality of the United States; is it not precisely the same violation to scoff at that position, by actually honoring conduct, which virtually every religion considers to be an abomination?
In terms of theology, the positions are directly antithetical. But in terms of the exercise of Governmental power, what is the functional difference between the two? Moreover, if the Government cannot encourage Religion because of the establishment clause, can it discourage it in face of the free exercise clause? Indeed, is not so gross an attempt to corrupt the free exercise of traditional faith, tantamount to the establishment of a Statist religion?
One might suggest that the ex-President was merely trying to rub salt in the wounds of religious Americans, because so many had sought his Impeachment. But no one who defended him from that impeachment, because it was for the wrong reasons, can excuse his sophomoric gesture of contempt for our heritage of decency. America should have taken up the gauntlet. For thus holding this generation of Americans up to the ridicule and disdain--of friend and foe of this generation, and of generations yet to come--he deserved impeachment. Or will someone suggest that those month long celebrations of human degradation served any purpose consistent with his oath of office?
Perhaps July should be dedicated to "Paranoid Schizophrenic Focus"; August, to "Celebrate Incontinence." Is the justification for honoring asexuals, who engage in deviant acts, the debatable suggestion that they cannot help themselves? Well neither can paranoid schizophrenics, nor those suffering from incontinence. But enough!
At the same time that the former President was sticking his finger into the eye of religious America, by those month long designations; his minions in Washington were trying to sneak through legislation, which would have used Federal funds and influence, to undermine parental teaching on the same question of deviant behavior, via the public school classroom. However sick their motivations, the anti-religious Left mean business; and those who care about their country must respond. Let us suggest some practical actions, that will fuel the debate, while putting the true issues into a better perspective.
There was a report, some months back, of a public high school assembly, where a speaker called for a moment of silent reflection, and the audience, led by an uncowed patriot, rose and recited the Lord's Prayer. Such an approach to the practical absurdity, that has followed Engel vs. Vitale, Jr., seems very much in order. Conservatives should let their imaginations run free in pursuit of other, more innovative, ways to honor their God and their Heritage. It is not that we are endorsing "Civil Disobedience." We deal here with usurpers and would be tyrants, who have engaged in verbal sophistry to create a problem that anyone, who understands simple English, will know we should not have.
We have also suggested a special Thanksgiving Day Project (linked, below), which will thrust in the same direction. The righteousness of a bit of defiance, here, is far more obvious than was that of the patriots, dressed as Indians, who staged the Boston Tea Party--still one of the most honored events in pre-Revolutionary America. If William J. Clinton could honor perversion and moral depravity as National policy; it is past time that the rest of us came again to honor God, across the length and breadth of the Land He has so richly Blessed in all the past generations of our being.
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No American journalist in the 20th Century wrote with greater clarity or precision, none with more compelling rhetoric or cadence, than James Jackson Kilpatrick, Editor of the Richmond (Virginia) News Leader in the 1950s and early '60s. In 1957, he wrote The Sovereign States to challenge increasing Federal encroachment into State and local affairs. The book was not only philosophically and Constitutionally sound; it exhibited, in sparkling prose, some of the best American Conservative writing of the 20th Century. Now, fifty-nine years later, it is available on line:
The Sovereign States