There have been many studies as to why civilizations fail and among their findings are that moral values declined. Some of the researchers mentioned political and social problems without pinning the core cause; which is morality. I think we’d agree that morality has drastically declined in America. In my opinion the serious decline began in the late 60’s. I also believe our Supreme Court is greatly responsible for this decline because of decisions they’ve made in reference to their interpretation of our Separation of Church and State.
A lot of people don’t realize the separation clause was not in the U.S. Constitution but instead in the first amendment to the Bill of Rights. This is how it 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 Supreme Court absolutely misinterpreted the verbiage above plus a major part in interpreting law is to consider the intent of those who created it. These are things that tell me exactly what the framers of: The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights intended:
Ø We have celebrated the birth of Christ since the very beginning of our republic and our federal government deemed his birth date a national holiday.
Ø The original rules of laws were based on the Ten Commandments.
Ø The Declaration of Independence, the very document we founded our country upon, mentions God four times.
Ø Chaplains have always served in the House and Senate; they’re even on our government’s payroll.
Ø Our national anthem mentions God.
Ø God is mentioned all over buildings in Washington, DC.
Ø Our founding fathers often used the mention of God in their correspondence.
Ø The Constitution of every one of our states mentions God.
Ø The Bible is used to swear people in during court proceedings.
Ø Prayers have been said at the swearing in of every president.
Ø Each president has had their hand on a Bible as they gave their oath to our country.
Ø Every president’s inaugural address has mentioned God.
Ø The phrase “In God We Trust” can be seen behind where the Speaker of the House sits.
Ø The Supreme Court building which was built in the 1930’s has carvings of Moses and the Ten Commandments.
Ø The Liberty Bell which was made in 1752 has an Old Testament verse on it.
Ø Our original colleges like Harvard, William and Mary, Princeton, Yale, etc., were supported by our government and they were Christian based.
I’ve got to say that I am truly shocked as to how the Supreme Court interpreted the First Amendment. The verbiage in the Amendment related to Church and State reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” The reason our forefathers included this particular doctrine was due to what they experienced when their previous government established The Church of England. They didn’t think governments should create religions and push it on the people but they certainly didn’t think religion had no place in governing.
Here are some of the results since they changed the law: 1) We aren’t allowed to display anything related to God on public property. They made this decision in 2005 when they ruled on a display that was put up in Kentucky. The ACLU fought against it and won. 2) Businesses can now be sued on the bases of religion in the workplace if someone feels offended. 3) As we all know, prayer was taken out of public schools because it offended some people. 4) Children in public schools aren’t allowed to say “God” in the pledge of allegiance. There was a case in California where just one student complained about the pledge of allegiance and the mention of God (his parents were atheist) and so the ACLU fought and won the case. I could go on and on but I know you’re aware of the many ridiculous decisions the Supreme Court has made in reference to this amendment and the aggressive tactics the ACLU uses. The bottom line is that these types of decisions negatively affect morality in America.
Interpretations like this are exactly why I believe there shouldn’t be life-time appointments in the Supreme Court. You may have asked yourself why and when did this life-time appointment thing get put into place. It was put in place in the late 1700’s because of The Federalist Document. This document included 85 articles (some people called them essays) that interpreted certain areas of The Constitution. The authors persuaded newspapers (there were a few) to publish their articles in an attempt to influence future legislation; sounds like lobbying has always been around.
One thing they were pushing (which I totally agree with) is they wanted the Judicial Branch to have less authority than both the Legislative and Executive Branches. They believed the judiciaries’ duties were to strictly enforce the purposes of our Constitution so individual ideologies weren’t supposed to come into play thus having less influence/responsibility than the other branches.
The reason they thought life-time appointments would be good is that in England the King would hire and fire justices at will. Laws would be set and then changed based upon the King’s agenda; so the political parties created a law that required life-time appointments so the King couldn’t’ influence legislation.
The problem with using the same standards that took place in England is that our president wasn’t given the authority to hire and fire in the first place. Even if we didn’t have life-time appointments he still couldn’t do it because we didn’t give the Executive Branch that kind of power. With this in mind, I think we should force our legislators to do away with life-time appointments and have six-year term limits instead. We certainly wouldn’t want to get rid of everyone at once but we could easily stage the rotations to ensure we have experienced Supreme Court Justices on the bench at all times.
There are a lot of good reasons to have term-limits for Supreme Court Justices. One of these would be to limit the impact of poor decisions. As it is now, there’s no other place to go once an issue is taken all the way up the ladder so an idiotic mistake couldn’t be rectified until people serving on the bench quit or died. There’s not a single institution in our country whether it’s the private or public sector where guaranteed life-time employment is a good idea. I believe that a lot of decisions our Supreme Court has made since the 1970’s has facilitated our moral decline and we can’t recover from them until we get some fresh faces in the court.
One last note; although the ACLU certainly disagrees with my statement, legislation is based on morality and morality is a necessary tool for effective societies. Meaning the ACLU is focused on individual rights when in fact societal rights (the whole) trump individual rights for the protection of our society. Their approach is illogical because how can they say individuals have freedom to do and say whatever they’d like when so many things are against the law like stealing. So they are in fact legislating morality because they’re picking and choosing where individual rights begin and where they end. All laws should be applied by the same standards and it should be black or white. Too much grey area causes mistakes and the way we treat law can make or break our society.
I realize everyone is so busy with their lives that it’s hard to get involved in political issues but this too important to not become an activist.