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WHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION?

 

REVIEW of the RECENT TRIAL of JUDGE ROY MOORE

(Alabama Supreme Court)

 

Where in the Constitution is it stated that: "All officers of the United States Government shall be prohibited from exercising their religion?" If you have read the Constitution, you know the answer.

 

How would you, assuming you were an officer on trial, answer if you were asked the question which Judge Moore was asked? There are at least four points you could make using the Constitution. The question presented was:

 

Your understanding is that the Federal court ordered that you could not acknowledge God; isn't that right? And if you resume your duties...after this proceeding, you will continue to acknowledge God as you have testified that you would today?---

You could reply that, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States," and\or "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,..."

 

If Congress can make no law, doesn’t that mean they cannot make one? That is the very first addition to the Constitution by amendment: Article I of the Bill of Rights. It seems rather plain, doesn’t it? If there is no law, how can one be tried and sentenced for breaking a non-law? In addition, is the one presiding actually the one breaking the "‘thou shalt make no law’ law"? The Bill of Rights says "no law shall be made." The Constitution states in Article VI, paragraph 2 that judges shall be bound by that law:

 

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof;.. shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

 

Furthermore, it is stated of the following officers that:

 

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

 

Inspiration poetry

The Scriptures tell us, To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them, (Isaiah 8:20). Isaiah goes on to give the judgment that will fall on those who despise the Lord God of Heaven, Emmanuel, whom he prophesied would be born and upon whose shoulders government should rest saying, , "he would establish his kingdom with judgment and justice." (Isaiah 9:6-7) "Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed."

 

Should an ambassador (representing his country and not himself) be reprimanded and/or tried in court if he participates in conversation with persons (private or public) concerning his beliefs. This is on the same side of the scale as the actions of Judge Moore (to whom we were referring above)-mixing ones religious beliefs with ones office.

 

John Jay (delegate and president of the Continental Congress, Ambassador to France, delegate to the Constitutional Convention, co-author of the Federalist Papers, and the first Chief Justice of the United States under the new Constitution) tells us of two encounters with French diplomats while negotiating with the French along with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin at the end of the Revolutionary War.  He wrote:

 

I was at a large party, several of which were atheists. One of them asked me if 1 believed in Christ. I answered that I did, and that I thanked God that I did. Some time afterward I sent for an English physician, (an atheist) who resided at Paris. I saw the doctor often. During one of his visits he very abruptly remarked that there was no God and he hoped the time would come when there would be no religion in the world. I very concisely remarked that if there was no God there could be no moral obligations, and I did not see how society could subsist without them.

 

(Taken from a "Letter to John Bristed, April 23, 1811," Quoted in 'In God We Trust', Norman Cousins, Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York, 1950)

 

We may ask, "Should Ambassador Jay have refused to mix his beliefs with his duties as an officer of the Continental government?" Jay had no qualms about this then, or ever! And who can say a man who held so many high offices should be so mistaken!

 

To clinch the argument that those who serve in "Office or public Trust under the United States" are not required to give up their Christian beliefs nor their right to express them while serving I thought it good to pass along the following paragraph from the resolves of the Continental Congress:

 

In Provincial Congress, Watertown, June 16th, 1775.... And whereas there is great Danger that the Prophanation of the Lord's-Day will prevail in the Camp: We earnestly recommend to all the Officers, not only to set good Examples; but that they strictly require of their Soldiers to keep up a religious Regard to that Day, and attend upon the public Worship of God thereon, so far as may be consistent with other Duties.

 

A true Copy from the Minutes,

Attest. SAMUEL FREEMAN, Secry.

By Order of the Congress,

JAMES WARREN, President

 

Quoted in "The Ten Commandments & their Influence on American Law," Wm. J. Federer, Amerisearch, Inc., p. 112.


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