"Oyez, Oyez, Oyez! All persons having business
before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States,
are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the
Court is now sitting. God save the United States and the Honorable
What you just read is what the Justices hear as
they stand behind their desks while the crier announces the formal
opening of each session of the Court. As the justices take their
seat the crier's voice is raised as he impressively calls out
the above, "Oyez...God save the United States and the Honorable
Engraved in stone above the head of the Chief Justice
are the Ten Commandments with the great American eagle protecting
them. Underneath are these words regarding Moses who is holding
the Ten Commandments: "Lawgiver of the Israelites, His Mosaic
Law, which is based on the tablets of Hebraic Law, or the Ten
Commandments, determined the criminal code and liturgical law."
(Per letter from Religious Freedom Survey by Donald E. Wildmon,
AFA Pres., PO Drawer 2440, Tupelo, MI, ,38803 9/97. Page 595 of
America's God and Country Encyclopedia Of Quotations, by Wm. J.
Federer, Fame Pub.,Coppell, TX)).
Moses is included among the great lawgivers in Herman A. MacNeil's
marble sculpture group on the east front. Other Christian symbols
are portrayed in the courtroom and on the buildings exterior.
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can
the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction
that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for
my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot
sleep forever." - Thomas Jefferson
Senator Byrd (1918 -1966) said that the above words
of Jefferson were "a forceful and explicit warning that to
remove God from this country will destroy it." (p. 85 of
America's God & Country Encyclopedia of Quotations)
The Supreme Court is the highest tribunal, court,
or judiciary in this nation for all cases and controversies pertaining
to the Constitution or the laws of the United States. As the final
arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American
people the promise of equal justice under law. It also functions
as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution. Early in our
history the Justices were strict constitutionalists. Today, some
say, they tend through their decisions to be molders of culture,
makers of law in contrast to the original intention of our founders
who set up the three branches of government: the executive, the
legislative, and the judicial. They may be taking out of the hands
of the American people the most basic moral and cultural decisions.
Robert Bork, in his book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, said that
the judicial is our only branch of government without checks and
balances. Bork says that there are two ways to repair this. One
is a Constitutional Amendment which would give the legislative
branch power of legislative review and to make laws to overrule
the Supreme Court, the other would be to impeach any Justice who
overstepped his/her bounds. In his First Inaugural Address, Abraham
Lincoln said, "The candid citizen must confess that if the
policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole
people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme
Court...the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having
to that extent practically resigned their Government into the
hands of that eminent tribunal." Lincoln was thinking of
Dred Scott, the infamous decision that created a constitutional
right to own slaves.
In 1892 our Supreme Court Decision in Church of
the Holy Trinity v. United States said, "Our laws and our
institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings
of The Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be
otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization
and our institutions are emphatically Christian...This is a religious
This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent
to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation...we
find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth...These,
and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of
unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that
this is a Christian nation." The Supreme Court studied this
for 10 years before writing this unanimous decision which clearly
states that we are not a pluralistic, but we are a Christian nation.
In 1931, in the case of United States v. Macintosh,
283 U.S. 605 the court said, "We are a Christian people...according
to one another the equal right of religious freedom, and acknowledge
with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God."
In 1952 the Supreme Court, in the case of Zorach
v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 307 313 stated: "We are a religious
people and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being...When
the state encourages religious instruction or cooperates with
religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events
to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions. We
cannot read into the Bill of Rights a philosophy of hostility
In 1963 the Supreme Court, in the case of School
District of Abington Township v Schempp, 374 U.S. 203,212,225
pp.21, 71, records: "The State may not establish a 'religion
of secularism' in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing
hostility to religion, thus preferring those who believe in no
religion over those who do believe."
In 1980, the Supreme Court, in the case of Stone
v. Grahamn, 449 U.S. 39,42,46 said: "The Bible may constitutionally
be used in an appropriate study of history, civilization, ethics,
comparative religion, or the like."
In 1993. In the case of Jones v Clear Creek Independent
School District, 977, F.2d 963,972 (5th Cir.), upheld the Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals decision permitting student-initiated
prayer at high school graduation ceremonies, providing a majority
of the class votes to do so. "There is a crucial difference
between government speech endorsing religion, which the Establishment
Clause forbids, and private speech endorsing religion, which the
Free speech and Free Exercise Clauses protect."
Look for the Ten Commandments on the walls of the
Supreme Court. They are represented by the shape of the Tablets.
When you visit Washington, DC, and our Supreme Court
look for the Ten Commandments on the walls of the Supreme Court.
They are represented by the shape of the Tablets.
Photograph as much of the Christian history as you
VOCABULARY words to look up: authority, fasces,
amendment, judiciary, Constitutionality.
IDEAS or CONCEPTS to DISCUSS with your friends:
Strict vs. Loose interpretation, "Equal Justice
Under Law", civil rights
First Amendment, gun control, censorship
HANDS ON PROJECTS for the CREATIVE:
1. Choose an amendment and discuss how it personally
2. Write an opinion about a local school or community
issue as if you were a particular Justice. Send your article to
your local newspaper or a magazine.
3. Think of a current issue. Have a mock trial with your friends
complete with Justices and lawyers. Write out your decision, all
of you sign it and send it to some newspapers.
4. Discuss the origin of law. Debate it with someone.
Write out your position. Call up a Talk Show Radio or TV show
and give them your thoughts.
5. Read some of the writings of Montesquieu who
was quoted 8.3% of the time by our founding fathers. "God
is related to the universe, as Creator and Preserver; the laws
by which He created all things are those by which He preserves
them." p54 Christianity and the Constitution.
6. Read the Bible which was quoted 34% of the time by our founding
7. Read some of Blackstone's Commentary (Renowned
English jurist who set the foundation for our great legal minds
and who was quoted 7.9% of the time between 1705-1805.
8. If you think you might want to be a lawyer write
out the steps that you would need to take to achieve your goal.
9. Discuss the importance of The Ten Commandments
in the laws of any land.
10. Plan to photograph the Christian heritage that
you see carved in stone anywhere in your community. Send a copy
to your local newspaper and to Friends of Help Save America, PO
Box 59147, Norwalk, CA 90650. 562-863-7783.
11. Imagine that you are accused of a crime. Think
through your defense. Try your own case like in #3 above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Supreme Court Public Information Office
1st Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20540
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1 Kings 2:37-39
37 For it shall be, on the day you go out and cross the Brook Kidron, know for certain you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.”
38 And Shimei said to the king, “The saying is good. As my lord the king has said, so your servant will do.” So Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.
39 Now it happened at the end of three years, that two slaves of Shimei ran away to Achish the son of Maachah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, “Look, your slaves are in Gath!”
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