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Ten Commandments Day

* Ten Commandments in American Law * by Dr. Stephen Flick

On November 17, 1980, the Supreme Court of the United States (Stone v. Graham) ruled that a Kentucky statute requiring the posting of the Ten Commandments in the classrooms of public schools was unconstitutional. The Court ruled that this law violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because it lacked a secular legislative purpose. This ruling, despite the efforts of many states to craft legislation for the purpose of displaying the Ten Commandments, has been employed to keep the Ten Commandments out of the public arena and suppress it as an influence in the American legal system. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court has no Constitutional authority to intervene in individual states’ rights to govern themselves in religious matters, no state has attempted to nullify this unconstitutional overreach by the Supreme Court. The Constitution delegates the authority of religious matters solely to the individual states. Dismissing the clear dictates of the Constitution and the Christian heritage of the United States, the Supreme Court on November 17, 1980 sided with secularists in usurping the authority of the states, but in this matter, Christians must not remain idle on the sidelines of cultural life!

Table of Contents

The Ten Commandments in Early America

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David Barton

The Ten Commandments formed the common law of the United States as demonstrated by the earliest state constitutions. In fact, in the massive scholarly study of professors Donald S. Lutz and Charles S. Hyneman, American Political Writing During the Founding Era, found that the Bible was by far the most often quoted reference by the Founding Fathers. Leading Christian political thinkers of the Enlightenment populated the second most influential group of authors cited by Lutz and Hyneman who influenced the thinking of the Founding Fathers.[1]

Well-known Christian historian, David Barton, has written at length concerning the legal foundation the Ten Commandments exercised over the federal and state constitutions. The attack upon the Ten Commandments by radical judges has been indicative of their denial of the role that the Bible in it entirety has exercised upon the founding and formation of America. Since Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote for the majority of the court in Ever­son VS Board of Edu­ca­tion (1947), a falsely established “separation of Church and state” has existed which, for nearly 160 years, was never found by any other justice or court.

See David Barton’s evidence of the use of the Ten Commandments in America law: “Affidavit in Support of the Ten Commandments.”

Public Support for Ten Commandments

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Barack Obama

In the second decade of the twenty-first century, public polls demonstrate that Americans believe the Ten Commandments should be publically displayed. However, because American citizens have elected liberal politicians to office, radical judges have been appointed to positions of authority by these liberal politicians that has allowed them to systematically dismantle the historic moral and legal foundation of America. If Christians–and Americans in general–are serious about reversing the decline of the nation, it is incumbent upon them to earnestly labor to elect conservative leaders to office. Liberal presidents have been most responsible for populating the Supreme Court with activist judges who legislate from the bench.

Judge Roy Moore’s Stand

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Judge Roy Moore

On August 16, 2003, I stood with my family, friends and students from the seminary where I taught at the front of Alabama’s capitol building in Montgomery. Together with thousands of others, we had come to Montgomery to show our support for the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, who was defying a court order to remove the Ten Commandments monument he had installed in the Alabama Supreme Court rotunda. For years, Judge Moore had displayed the Ten Commandments on the walls of the courtrooms where he served, and upon being elected Supreme Court Chief Justice of Alabama had placed this fitting monument in the rotunda. Unwilling to remove the monument from the Alabama Supreme Court, Judge Moore was removed from office in November 2003 but won reelection as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court on November 6, 2012. Few holding political office have had the courage of Judge Moore to stand against radical judges who have undermined the historic moral and legal foundations of America, but Judge Moore is one of the few–as was Governor Fob James who supported Judge Moore! He is a man to be highly honored for his courage and willingness to resist the socialistic erosion of American law by groups such as the ACLU.


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Conclusion

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Ten Commandments Wall Display

Because the courts have broken with the historic legal foundation of America, the visualization of the Christian faith in America rests increasingly upon individual believers, the Church, private businesses, and other institutions and agencies. Lamentably, many Christian homes in America have little visible evidence of their Christian convictions and commitments. Likewise, businesses and various Christian organizations fail to evidence their faith in a visible way, choosing to hide behind the argument that they do not wish to offend anyone. Yet Muslims in America are not ashamed to stop traffic in New York City and elsewhere when they are called to prayer.

For far too long, Christians have sat idly by while secularists and the irreligious have imposed their ideologies upon America’s courts. Predictably–with few exceptions–liberal judges have imposed new non-historical laws upon America. These judges have become usurpers and hijackers of American law and culture. Seeking to impose the Marxism ideology of their liberal law-school training, they impose their own subjective doctrines upon America. The answer–in part–is for Christians to become active participants in every arena of social and cultural life. If Christians are unwilling to put forth the effort to retain that which our Founding Father suffered to bequeath to their posterity, secularists will always fill the vacuum.

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Private Ten Commandments Display
November 17
Ten Commandments Day

Most Americans appear to have grown tired of the incessant attack against the true Christian heritage of America and activist judges who are prepared to advocate the demands of the minority regardless of the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of Americans. In early America, however, Christian pastors and church leaders were responsible for stirring up the colonies against the tyranny of King George III,[2] and if America is not to experience the same secular and social demise as European nations, pastors must once again assume the same mantle of leadership to point America once again to its biblical foundation.

To recognize and celebrate the place that the Ten Commandments have occupied in American history, believers should be prepared to display them in their homes, businesses, churches, and other places of prominence. In addition, the Ten Commandments should be a staple of memorization for the family altar! Do what is in your power on November 17 of each year to call America back to the moral foundation of the Ten Commandments!

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[1] John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987), 51ff.

[2] See David Barton, The Role of Pastors and Christians in Civil Government (Aledo, Texas: WallBuilder Press).

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Written by Dr. Stephen FlickNumber of posts: 228

Concerned with the cultural decay of America, Dr. Flick has sought to provide answers to fellow Christians (and unbelievers) concerning the questions and objections to Christianity often posed by secularists and the irreligious. Dr. Flick is Christian Heritage Fellowship’s executive director and resides in East Tennessee with his wife, Beth. He spent 12 years as a Seminary professor and has been a licensed minister for more than thirty years, during which time he has served as pastor, revival and camp meeting evangelist, interim pastor, and other ministerial roles. He has authored numerous articles concerning America’s Christian heritage. Dr. Flick earned his Ph.D. from Drew University in theology and church history.

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