Friday, July 01, 2005

Roy Moore on Original Intent and 10 Commandment Monuments

I'm not in favor nor against new 10 commandment monuments going up. And I think Roy Moore was over the top when he tried to put up his own monument. But, in the final analysis, he has a big point.
The text of the First Amendment's Religion Clauses reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." We need to restore the original definitions of "law," "establishment," and "religion" in the First Amendment. A monument or display could never be a "law," the mere posting or installation of it is not an "establishment," and the recognition of God by the public display of the Ten Commandments is not "religion." After all, the original definition of the word "religion" -- the duties we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging those duties -- which was recognized by the Supreme Court years ago, acknowledged God and a higher law.

Monuments aren't laws. Good point.

That's nothing short of idiocy. Everything in the Constitution is interpreted on its applicability in cases that extend past the direct wording of the document. If this weren't the case, we would not need constitutional law, nor would we have a particularly strong need for the Supreme Court. This is just as weak an argument as the one gun control advocates put forth regarding the Second Amendment. Yes, it is true that the 2nd Amendment was intended to apply to arming citizens only in the context of the formation of militias. However, you can't, in today's context, take it just at that value. If you don't allow interpretation, you have a static document that is useless two years after it's drafted. The same is true of things from the Constitution to the Bible.

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