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Jewish World Review July 7, 2000 /3 Tamuz, 5760

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Banishing the Creator -- "CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion," says the U.S. Constitution. Nary a day goes by that the American Civil Liberties Union isn't fighting tooth and nail to enforce that facet of the First Amendment. Sometimes I think it is that organization's sole purpose to abolish any semblance of G-d from our public life. Open up any paper lately, and you'll be hard-pressed not to see some lawsuit, backed by the ACLU, attempting to eliminate the word "G-d" from a state motto or a posting of the Ten Commandments in a public building.

It is true that our Founding Fathers declared that we not establish a state religion, but what the ACLU seems to forget in all of its anti-religion fervor is that the First Amendment goes on to say that Congress shall make no law "prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..." In other words, the government doesn't have the right to repress religion. This important aspect of the First Amendment, I believe, has been totally obscured by secularists, and I find this very frightening.

There is a compelling reason for these secularists to remove G-d from everywhere, because as Dostoevsky wrote in "The Brothers Karamazov," "without G-d anything is permitted." Those who would like to have anything permitted must first eliminate G-d -- the ultimate arbiter of what's right and wrong. If you take a look at today's public life, in which anything is permissible and everything is tolerated, you can see that the ACLU and similar organizations have done a pretty darn good job.

This was in the Houston Chronicle a couple of weeks back: "School officials were silent Tuesday about a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of three pupils accusing the Willis school district of refusing to allow a child to carry or read the Bible. The lawsuit, filed in Houston, alleges that a teacher at Lynn Lucas Middle School pulled two sisters from class after discovering they were carrying Bibles and threatened to have them picked up by child welfare authorities." The lawsuit also alleged that another teacher required a 13-year-old boy to remove a Ten Commandments cover from his book.

The lawsuit was recently dismissed as an attempt at a harmonious resolution -- so the children can return to school without fear of reoccurrence.

A year ago I would have had great skepticism about this scenario. Today, I'm inclined to believe the accusers. As G-d is slowly but surely eclipsed from public life, my astonishment grows at the extent to which secularists will go to eradicate him.

Whatever happened to the rest of the First Amendment that says the government may not prohibit the practice of one's own religion? Mind you, these children were not disrupting class; they were not preaching or trying to recruit anybody to Jesus, and they weren't reading the Bible in lieu of doing their math problems. They simply had their Bibles with them as they might have any book they were reading.

If you haven't been paying attention, you'd better start. You'll notice that the liberal mentality in the United States of America has become synonymous with "secular." Pornographers' rights are protected by the First Amendment. The secularists will defend a girl's right to go to school with condoms and other vulgar things hanging off her clothes. But it is controversial that a child has the audacity to carry a Bible in his book bag.

Several months back, in conjunction with the Family Research Council, I gave away thousands of Ten Commandments book covers on my radio program. This was my response to the flurry of ongoing federal lawsuits filed to prohibit the posting of the Ten Commandments in any public building. Little did I think that I might be subjecting a child to a public dressing-down by giving him a book cover.

I recently saw "Hannity and Colmes" interview a representative from the National Organization for Women. When pressed on the issue of freedom of religion, she looked right into the camera and said, "I don't believe in the kind of hatred you people preach veiled behind religion. You're hatemongers!" How do you think the Founding Fathers would have responded to that?

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