Article by Justin Gage | TyrantWatch
***BREAKING UPDATE***- Sources confirm that Itawamba County officials are discussing a reversal of decision pending a response from the Liberty Institute and other Constitutional scholars in regards to the legality of the Ten Commandments display within the county courthouse. The voices of the citizens of Itawamba County are being heard by the local government. Itawamba County citizens, now is the time to voice your concerns to your district supervisors!
“If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”
— Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis (1916-1939)
More speech. Not enforced silence. That is what it will take to free this country from the shackles of political correctness and minority rule. We the People must educate ourselves. Not only that, but then enlighten others as well.
Itawamba county has been dictated by outside influences to remove a Ten Commandments display from the Itawamba County courthouse. This directive was issued by the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation. Itawamba County Board of Supervisors has received legal counsel that has led them to believe the issue is not worth a fight, therefore releasing a statement acknowledging their intention to remove the Ten Commandments display and replace it with the less controversial national motto, “In God We Trust”.
Just giving up is not necessary. On the front page of their website, ffrf.org, the Freedom from Religion Foundation states “Protecting the constitutional principle of the separation of state and church”. What about the protection of the constitutional principle of Freedom of Religion? A reminder to our public officials, a direct quote from the First Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXCERCISE THEREOF;…..”. A Ten Commandments Display in no way tries to establish an official state religion. Ignoring the overwhelming majority of a county’s religious freedom to satisfy an instigator of division within our communities is, from where I sit, prohibiting the free excercise thereof.
In just a little basic research, I have found that the specific issue of the display of the Ten Commandments and other displays and motto’s is very complex. The major tests for proving the constitutionality of a case such as this, the Lemon test and Establishment test, have been met with steep criticism from scholars and justices alike. However, informed and rational arguments can be made that after application of either test the court’s decision is in no way pre-decided. For example, the first requirement of the Lemon test is whether the county had a secular motive in displaying the Ten Commandments; Is the Ten Commandments not a historical document by which many nations, not just the United States, used as a basis of its law code? Therefore it should be viewed by the courts as being eligible to be interpreted as “secular”.
Other arguments to test requirements could be whether there was intent on Itawamba County’s part to promote a specific religion, the citizens own right to express themselves religiously in a public forum, and many others. The Supreme Court itself ruled in the 1984 decision of Lynch v. Donnelly that “the Constitution doesn’t require complete separation of church and state”. Decades of conflicting decisions, both from lower courts and the U.S. Supreme Court, make this a very arguable issue in court. Specific decisions in cases such as Van Orden v. Perry, et al. and Freethought Society v. Chester County, as well as others, at least offer hope that Itawamba County can and should fight, not only for the Ten Commandments, but also to ensure that decisions regarding Itawamba County will rest in the hands of the CITIZENS of Itawamba County.
In addition to favorable court opinions/decisions, there are additional near-future political decisions that could ultimately impact a case such as this. Court cases, especially of this nature, are notorious for lengthy legal processes, right? Interestingly enough, the President that our country elects in the upcoming 2016 General Election could nominate up to four (4!!!) new Supreme Court Justices during his/her term due to age/retirement of current justices. As a reminder, only 9 justices make up the U.S Supreme Court. As the primary constitutional interpretation court of our nation, those 9 justices have the ability to shape current and previously decided issues that come before the court.
I believe that just simply giving up on an issue such as this is a disservice to the people of Itawamba County and is not how our Founding Father’s and other historical leaders meant for their words to be interpreted. Help take back our country, and START AT HOME!!!