The Louisiana ACLU has asked court officials to remove a portrait of Jesus (which has been in place for several years) from the lobby of Slidell City Court within a week or face a possible lawsuit. The organization sent a letter June 20 to court officials stating the display violates the First Amendment by advancing religion.
City Court Judge Jim Lamz said in a statement, “I was shocked and disappointed to receive the letter. To my knowledge, no one has made a complaint. I’m disappointed the ACLU released their letter to the press either before or simultaneously to us, which indicates they’re not interested so much in resolution, but in confrontation and publicity.”
Katie Schwartzmann, the ACLU attorney who wrote the letter, said the display conveys a religious message and instructs those who see it to obey Jesus’ laws.
Joe Cook, Louisiana ACLU executive director said, “If you can’t accommodate, you must separate. That’s the beauty of the First Amendment.”
The First Amendment implies no such thing. As a matter of fact, one judge said during the court case of Bear vs. Colmorgan (1958), “If this court doesn’t stop talking about the Separation of Church and State, everyone’s going to think that’s what the Constitution says.”
The First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishing of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” I believe our Founding Fathers did not want a national religion (like the one they left in England) but also wanted it understood that government is not to oppose the freedom of religious expression.
What did our Founding Fathers and patriots say?
Patrick Henry: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly, or too often, that this great nation was founded not by religionist, but Christians, not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.
James Madison: “We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments.”
Benjamin Franklin: “Whoever will introduce into public affairs the principles of Christianity will change the face of the world.”
I could quote many others and cite hundreds of Supreme Court decisions (prior to 1963) stating that Christian principles are never to be separated from the government.