Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jesus' Name Ruled Unconstitutional

Photo credit

"A U.S. circuit court decision that states even “a solitary reference to Jesus Christ” in invocations before the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners’ meetings could do “violence to the pluralistic and inclusive values that are a defining feature of American public life.”

World Net Daily reported today that the Name of Jesus has been ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina.


I am so tired of this kind on nonsense. Shall I go out and sue everyone who offends me? I could singlehandedly clog up the courts for decades with lawsuits concerning public statements that offend me!

Free speech, even repulsive speech, is one of the hazards of a free society (not up for discussion about whether we are really still free, thanks). The name of Jesus is NOT repulsive speech, no matter what the ACLU or the US Circuit Court think.

Why isn't a solitary reference to Allah, or Buddha, or the Dalai Lama, or Mother Earth, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, something that does violence to our "inclusive" values?

Occupy Wall Street protesters might say it like this:  99% of the complaints about stuff like this come from 1% of the professional malcontents who hire the ACLU to scrub every reference to Jesus from public life.

If someone doesn't feel that they can participate in civic affairs because they are scandalized by a prayer, they have bigger problems than I am able to address in this column. Believe me, my opposition to Roe v. Wade, Obamacare, or "gender education" for kindergarteners doesn't stop me from participating in civic affairs.

Anyway, the Board of County Commissioners in Forsyth County has retained the Alliance Defense Fund to help them overturn this ruling. Brett Harvey of the Alliance Defense Fund explains,

 "The Constitution prohibits the government from deciding which religious words are acceptable and which are not, even if the goal is to make people feel more comfortable."
Read more:Jesus' name ruled 'unconstitutional'
I may not agree with you, but will defend to the death your right to your opinion. As a Christian and an American, I may have a different take on this from people in other countries. So, international readers, step up and speak!  Americans, too - I know my readers and online friends are a diverse lot.  God forbid that we should have to march in lockstep and all subscribe to the same groupthink to be friends.

I know, I know. This one doesn't have anything to do with homeschooling. And it isn't even Wednesday.

So sue me. Better yet, comment! I really want to know what you think.


  1. As believers, we must always stand firm in our beliefs which includes standing up for our faith. Thank you for this post.

  2. Great information, Susan. Christians still have rights!

  3. I think the courts would be better acting on important issues like crime instead of words.

    Can we make a "Flying Spaghetti Monster?"

  4. It's too many of our courts that are doing "violence" to our "pluralistic and inclusive (?!) values." *sigh* Here's a sticker I saw that you might appreciate, Susan:

  5. "one nation, under God, indivisible..." No mention of pluralistic and inclusive values. We're on the same team Susan.

  6. I tend to stay out of most religious and political debates. It's just hard to find a fine balance.

  7. Things are a little bit different in the South...Enjoyed the Flying Spaghetti Monster reference...

  8. Mitch, you are right, I loved the sticker!

  9. Steve, if anything I would have thought people are still more "religious" in the south, and more tolerant of public acknowledgment of Jesus. As for the FSM, I spent a couple of years immersed in Digg culture and made a lot of friends among the twenty- and thirtysomething atheists there. They drove me crazy and I never agreed with them, but I couldn't deny that they thought through most of their arguments, even if I disagreed with their conclusions.

  10. Suki, it is hard to find balance when venturing into the world of political or religious discussions. Everyone usually has a pretty strong opinion one way or the other. But I was really thinking about this mostly as a "freedom" kind of issue - of speech and of religion. These prayers by the Board have obviously been going on for some time and never been an issue before. I don't think the government should have the ability to "decide what religious words are acceptable," as the article says.

    When President Obama waxes poetic about the "Holy Quran," or Robert Tilton tries to solicit my donation in exchange for a blessed prayer cloth, or Jeremiah Wright rails against America, I can turn off the TV if I don't like that. The people who sued could have left the room instead, and come back when it was time to listen to municipal business.

    I appreciate your willingness to even read the article and comment. Thank you for visiting!

  11. Anonymous6:44 PM

    That's a rather misleading title. Jesus' name has NOT been ruled unconstitutional in the slightest. What's ACTUALLY happened is that the constitution has been upheld in the sense that the Fourth Circuit Appeals Court has ruled that invocations in the name of Jesus proferred at meetings by the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners are sectarian and hence unconstitutional. In other words, they're not allowed to preference the Christian religion as part of their governmental role. Seems perfectly clear, sensible and constitutional to me. So why are you and WND muddying the waters with your frankly pretty blatant misrepresentation of the facts of the case? Smacks of "lying for Jesus" to me.

  12. The first amendment originally protected the church from the government, not the other way around, by prohibiting the federal government from setting up or endorsing a national church. States, however, were free to establish and/or recognize the dominant church of their choice.

    The interesting thing, though, is that Forsyth County policy on prayer before meetings was carefully drawn so as to address some of the problems that arise from any attempt to pray before such a meeting. Once a year, the Forsyth County Clerk invites all known religious congregations or churches in the County to offer prayers to open meetings on a first come first served basis. The policy states that the people praying are free to pray as the want to, but that the prayers should not either proselytize or disparage any other religion. The policy also says specifically that the prayers should not be considered as endorsing any religion but rather as reflecting the diversity of religious faith in the County.

    While it is true that most of the prayers have been Christian, that is probably because that is who responded to the invitation rather than a deliberate attempt to prefer one religion over another. I read one article that said 80% of the prayers were Christian. That means 20% were something else.

    If these were Muslim prayers, anyone who opposed them would have been called an Islamophobe and ordered to get over it.

    I don't think I have misrepresented the facts of the case - but I have reported them through the grid of my own worldview because I am writing for a particular audience, just have you have reported them through yours. That is only natural. Actually, your comment would have been excellent had you ended it with "Seems perfectly clear, sensible and constitutional to me" and left off the personal attack asserting that I am "lying for Jesus." Shame on you. This is the kind of attitude that hinders honest dialogue.

  13. Anonymous5:06 AM

    The purpose of the establishment clause was to prevent a majority religious view from exerting undue influence on other religious viewpoints. In a predominantly Christian nation that aim is not supported by pro-rata prayers. If 80% of the prayers are Christian then that's obviously an establishment issue as it favours the Christian faith. As I stated in my previous post, to misrepresent an instance of majority rule as being in some way 'fair' when in fact it's this very majority rule itself which is unconstitutional smacks of 'lying for Jesus'. This is NOT about reporting facts through one's own worldview; facts are facts, they're universal and immutable and you don't get your own set. The simple facts are, this prayer is unconstitutional, you know it's unconstitutional, you're a Christian, you want to maintain your position of privilege, you therefore attempt to make false claims, ergo you're lying for Jesus. Now, if you want to show me how that statement is incorrect then feel free to do so, but don't go playing the ad hom card; this is NOT a personal attack, it's a rebuttal of your argument.

  14. Mike, the establishment clause prohibits CONGRESS from establishing a religion. From your comments it does not appear that you understand the meaning of "establishment" as it was understood by the Framers of the Constitution. Some of the colonies had established churches, and required church membership if you wanted to be a citizen in that colony.

    I don't wish to argue with you because it does not appear that we will ever agree, and I am not interested in an extended dialogue where you will continue to make false assertions that as a Christian I believe I am somehow in a "position of privilege." Such a statement clearly marks you as someone who is not living in America and has no idea how marginalized Christians have become in our society. I am also tiring of your insistence that I am "lying for Jesus."

    I refer you instead to a blog post that was on The Federalist Blog just this week that addresses all the issues that you raised. It is a bit of a scholarly response, but states clearly why your statement is wrong.

    Finally, since you brought up this point - "This is NOT about reporting facts through one's own worldview; facts are facts, they're universal and immutable and you don't get your own set," here is a universal and immutable fact for you:

    Jesus is Lord.