Well, file this one under blatant historic revisionism and Christophobic hypocrisy.
It seems that Judge James DeWeese, of the County Court of Common Pleas in Ohio, got caught red-handed practicing free expression without the approval of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and will pay for his insolence with an indefinite suspension of his First Amendment rights.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that Richland County Common Pleas Judge James DeWeese violated the First Amendment when he put up a poster in his Mansfield courtroom. The appeals court upheld a 2009 district court judge’s ruling that the poster unconstitutionally endorsed particular religious views over others. The poster, designed and framed by the judge, and titled “Philosophies of Law in Conflict,” compared the “moral absolutes” of the Ten Commandments to the “moral relatives” of humanism.
That’s right. The ACLU, with the aid of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) and the cooperation of a three-judge panel from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, has once again twisted The First Amendment into a gag to stifle the freedom it was designed to safeguard.
No surprise that Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director of AU, rejoices that our courts are packed with prodigal thought police who have conferred upon themselves a line-item veto for the Bill of Rights. Lynn is another self-appointed speech-inspector who scampers about the county in an obsessive game of whack-a-mole – swatting down each reference to our religious heritage as it inevitably emerges. It’s his patriotic duty, he assures us; because if he doesn’t vigilantly police “reconstructionists” like DeWeese, Christian fascists will run amuck, stoning sassy adolescents and banning shellfish.
In addition, Americans United pointed out on its website that DeWeese has been affiliated with Christian Reconstructionism, the most extreme manifestation of the Religious Right. Reconstructionists believe in imposing “biblical law” on America based on the legal code of the Old Testament. In addition, Americans United pointed out on its website that DeWeese has been affiliated with Christian Reconstructionism, the most extreme manifestation of the Religious Right. Reconstructionists believe in imposing “biblical law” on America based on the legal code of the Old Testament.
Maybe someone should sit Lynn down and try to calm him down with a few historical facts. The Ten Commandments have been the foundation of civil law for two millennia, and the Bible has been central to American legal and moral philosophy since the Mayflower landed. In light of that, I think it’s a safe bet that if Congress hasn’t installed a replica of the Holy of Holies in the Capitol Rotunda and started sacrificing rams by now, it’s probably not going to happen.
I suspect however, that Lynn and all his self-proclaimed — albeit Orwellian — “defenders of liberty,” already know that; and all their rabble-rousing about “theocracies” and “reconstructionists” are a means to demonize their adversaries in the eyes of the public.
I’m pretty sure that Lynn knows full well that if three appellate court justices in Ohio would suppress Judge DeWeese’s Constitutional rights, they would also muzzle most of the men who actually signed the document if given the opportunity.
It’s ridiculous for educated attorneys to declare the Ten Commandments “afoul” of a document that bears the signature of Ben Franklin, who along with Thomas Jefferson, wanted to place Moses on our national seal.
If Lynn and his buddies at the ACLU are sincere, they would be reassured to learn that a signer of the Bill of Rights, and our second president, John Adams, never tried to impose Mosaic Law upon America — even after making this statement:
If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.
And so now one must wonder if anyone from the full six-member panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has the integrity to send the three activists who ruled against DeWeese to the cloakroom with a history primer and a mirror to hold up the next time they have the gall to pronounce someone, besides themselves, in violation of the First Amendment.