To paraphrase Founding Father George Washington, religion and morality are essential pillars to American freedom, and you cannot be a Patriot if you work against either of these. It is our duty to uphold them. And I agree.
In his farewell address Washington unequivocally stated:
Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens.
Now you may have heard of my friend in Texas, Judge Wayne Mack, who ran for the office of Justice of the Peace for Montgomery County, Precinct 1, in 2014. To assist his efforts of establishing justice in the state of Texas, the good judge desired to implement a “chaplaincy program” and practice his ethical and “religious values within the office”. Since his victory in that election, Mack has delivered; and I would like to take a brief moment to share with you a portion of his journey as a Justice of the Peace.
It was a normal day in August of 2014, when a plaintiff appeared in Wayne Mack’s courtroom. Before the normal routine of prayer to open the day’s hearings the good judge reminded the crowd if they did not wish to participate in the prayer, “Your case will not be affected.”
“The guest chaplain then stood and read from the Christian Bible, directing the reading to those present in the courtroom,” after the short sermon, the guest chaplain asked everyone to “bow their heads for a prayer”.
One woman in the room “did not leave after the invitation to do so out of fear that her actions would prejudice Judge Mack against her. She felt compelled by government authority to demonstrate obeisance to someone else’s religion” and she felt as though “the outcome of her case would be affected by how she chose to react.”
That story highlights the wording of a recent lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation against our American friend Judge Wayne Mack.
He has repeatedly violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by holding Christian prayers at the beginning of each session.
So, the legal question I present to you is whether this clause has been violated. In other words, do the voluntary prayers in the courtroom equate to Congress making a law, the effect of which is to establish an official United States religion?
Well, the answer seems to clearly be “NO” for at least two very simple reasons:
- The local Justice of the Peace for Montgomery County is NOT the “Congress.”
- Voluntary prayer and Bible reading is not a “law;” in fact, prayer and Bible reading are a part of Congressional sessions.
In order to find Judge Mack in violation of the Establishment Clause, the first thing you have to conclude is that the local office of Justice of the Peace for Montgomery County is, in legal contemplation, the Congress of the United States.
Crazy, you say?
I agree. But this is exactly the conclusion this lawsuit hopes to impress on a federal judge.
In contradistinction to this viewpoint is the American viewpoint shared by George Washington and Wayne Mack.
So we are left to conclude Judge Mack a Patriot, and this lawsuit antagonistic to America.
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