08 October 2012

Forty Days to November
Day 11: The First Amendment and Common Sense

On May 26, 1952, in Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v Wilson the United States Supreme Court upheld a New York City school district practice of releasing students during school hours specifically for religious instruction (Yes, I typed "New York City"). At issue was a film called "The Miracle,"which ironically was deemed by the school district as sacreligious, and whether or not the film qualified as "free speech."  The court rendered that it was, though offensive as the film may have been to some, in keeping the wide swath that is protected speech. Here is an interesting excerpt from the Court's decision:
"The First Amendment does not say that in every respect there shall be a separation of Church and State. Rather...there shall be no concert or union or dependency one on the other.  That is the common sense of the matter.  Otherwise the state and religion would be aliens to each other...
"Municipalities would not be permitted to render police or fire protection to religious groups, prayers in our legislative halls; the appeals to the Almighty in the messages of the Chief Executive; the proclamation making Thanksgiving Day a holiday; "so help me God" in our courtroom oaths -- these and all other references to the Almighty that run through our laws, our public rituals, our ceremonies, would be flouting the First Amendment...
"When the state cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events...it follows the best of our traditions.  For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accomodates the public service to their spiritual needs.  To hold that it may not would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups.  That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.  We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion."

Imagine that.
Not at all incidentally, this was the same Supreme Court that heard Brown vs. Board of Education.

Patriot's Prayer: Omnipotent God, clarify our leaders' understanding of the First Amendment.

Patriot's Promise: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck...Matthew 18:6

NOTE: All source material(unless otherwise noted)from God's Promises for the American Patriot by Dr. Richard D Lee & Jack Countryman; In God We Still Trust by Dr. Richard D Lee; and The American Patriot's Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America(NKJV) by Richard G Lee (general editor).

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