Home Opinion Dear Editor Courts have been hostile to Christianity 

Courts have been hostile to Christianity 

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

I wish to add to the letter of Oct. 14 by Ralph Rivera. First I must commend him for taking a stand that may be unpopular.

We often hear people crying, “separation of church and state…” The fact is, that phrase is not found in the Constitution. We do have the much-abused First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

The First Amendment in its entirety reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The “Establishment Clause” was intended to prevent the situation found in the United Kingdom, in which the Anglican Church is an arm of the government with expenses paid by taxes. It was never intended to make our government a de facto atheist government. Why did it take the Supreme Court 171 years to decide that Bible reading and prayer are illegal in the public schools? Why were they widespread practices for so long? We should note that in Engel v. Vitale, the decision that declared prayer in public schools to be illegal, the justices were unable to cite a single precedent to support the opinion. They ignored numerous precedents to the contrary. One of them is: “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being,” Zorach vs Clausen 1952.

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Even after Engel, we had: “We agree of course, that 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 to those who do believe…,” Abington vs Schempp 1963.

Our courts have certainly been hostile to Christianity in recent decades. Many believe our government and schools should proceed from a presumption of atheism. It takes “constitutional gymnastics” to go from the “Establishment Clause” to saying, “No government employee at any level (including teachers) may invoke any religion while on duty.” We have chaplains in Congress and the military. Our national motto is “In God we trust.” Religion has always been part of our nation and our government. We must vigorously oppose efforts to make us a de facto atheist state.

We must also work to reverse another unjust decision: “Roe vs Wade” 1973 legalized abortion and declared unborn babies to be nonpersons.

Russell A. Scott
Roswell