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-“All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed By Their (Censored by the 9th Circuit)”

by Dr. D ~ February 1st, 2012

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that it is illegal to display the following phrase from the Declaration of Independence in a public school:

“…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator…”

Also equally problematic is the sign above containing the official US Motto, along with a phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance plus lines from 2 prominent patriotic songs I learned to sing when I was a kid in school.

What is the problem with these official and traditional American phrases and mottos? They all mention God or the Creator and therefore they are unacceptable in public schools according to 3 judges in the radical 9th Circuit.

Last week (Jan.24) the Thomas More Law Center announced that it was filing an appeal to this controversial decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case of Bradley Johnson v. Poway Unified School District, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case revolved around a math teacher, Brad Johnson, who displayed banners and signs with the offending phases on them for more than 25 years in the classrooms where he taught only to be asked to remove them by the school district in 2007.

Meanwhile, other teachers in the same school were allowed to keep non-Christian religious displays in their classrooms including:

“a 40-foot string of Tibetan prayer flags with images of Buddha hung across a classroom, a poster with Hindu leader Mahatma Gandhi’s “7 Social Sins;” a poster of Muslim leader Malcolm X; a poster of the Buddhist leader Dali Lama; and a poster containing the lyrics of John Lennon’s anti-religion song “Imagine,” which begins, Imagine there’s no Heaven.”

Thomas More Law Center, which defends the religious liberty of Christians, filed a federal lawsuit against the school district on behalf of Johnson and won in District Court in 2010. Then the Poway Unified School District appealed that decision and a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court and ruled that the district was justified in removing banners that mentioned God.

Now, the Thomas More lawyers have appealed the case to the US Supreme Court after an appeal to be heard before the entire 9th Circuit was denied.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, said the follow about the case:

“This case is a prime example of how public schools across our nation are cleansing our classrooms of our Christian heritage while promoting atheism and other non–Christian religions under the guise of cultural diversity.”

“The Ninth Circuit Court’s rationale in allowing the Tibetan Prayer Flags and references to other religions while outlawing America’s patriotic slogans that mention God is unconvincing. Brad Johnson was simply exercising his free speech rights in a forum created by the school district to inform students of the religious foundations of our nation.”

Response: It is incredible to me that a part of The Declaration of Independence, the official US Motto, and a phrase from the US Pledge of Allegiance are all deemed to be unacceptable for display in a public school classroom because they mention God?

The Constitution is suppose to protect free speech and our freedom of religion but once more it is being stood on its ear and strangely interpreted to actually deny even any non-sectarian mention of God from official government documents in the classroom. Stranger still, it only seems to be a Judeo-Christian understanding of God and The Creator that is being censored by this decision.

Hopefully the US Supreme Court will take this case and resolve the confusion and inequity.                 *Top

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4 Responses to -“All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed By Their (Censored by the 9th Circuit)”

  1. Dave Rainsberger

    The title of this article is blatantly misleading.

    Nowhere in the original linked article, nor the actual litigation, is there a single mention of the words “endowed by their creator” directly from the Declaration of Independence. These words were carefully crafted by Thomas Jefferson so they could in no way be construed as offensive by anyone of any faith or non-faith. I am an atheist and I agree with the document that I was endowed by certain inalienable rights from my parents, my own creators. The case you write about does not include these words because they are not offensive to anyone.

    As for the other quotes that actual do mention god; those were added to the pledge and our currency in the late 50’s by our congress due to the communist scare. Our fore-fathers were not christians, especially not in current definitions of this faith. Most of them were deists, especially Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and Adams. If the term atheist or the truth of evolution had existed during this period of time, they most certainly would have been intellectual enough to claim them as their own as well. Those of us who actually believe in the constitution the way our fore-fathers intended have been fighting to get these god fearing mottos removed ever since the days they were wrongfully added.

    The original motto of our great country was “E Pluribus Unum” which means “from many become one”. THIS was the intended story of our nation. That many different people can work together to create a common good, not work together for a common god. All Americans have the same rights and no one should limit them in any way depending on their faith or lack of faith. When our congress changed the pledge, and added these offensive words to our currency, it blasphemed the perfect intent of our Constitution and it’s creators. Since those days we have lived in a fearful atmosphere of ‘religious-rightness’ that has since haunted the halls of congress, helped fuel so many unneeded wars, and destroyed our liberties and freedoms as were originally intended. All for the fear of your god, and all the while demonizing mostly innocent people just because of their beliefs.

    You wrote, “It is incredible to me that a part of The Declaration of Independence, the official US Motto, and a phrase from the US Pledge of Allegiance are all deemed to be unacceptable for display in a public school classroom because they mention God”. No sir, you are wrong on three counts. The Declaration of Independence is not at trial here, the original official motto should be restored, and the pledge of allegiance was written by an atheist but transgressed upon by a self-righteous congress in 1957. Regardless if you want to accept the truth or not, removing god from all federal currency, public domains and pledges, is the right thing to do, if you care at all for our constitution, freedom and liberty.

    I expect this entire thesis to be deleted but at least please read it first. Thank you!

  2. Dr. D

    Dave, Thanks for the obvious effort you put into your comment. You are correct in saying that the title phrase was no where in the article I linked however it was in one of the banners which were displayed by the teacher and was actually part of the case under review and therefore it was not misleading at all. Here’s a link to the original court case listing the banners in question with the following quote:

    “Plaintiff’s banners contain the following historical, patriotic phrases: “In God We Trust,” the official motto of the
    United States; “One Nation Under God,” the 1954 amendment to the Pledge of Allegiance; “God Bless America,” a
    patriotic song; “God Shed His Grace On Thee,” a line from “America the Beautiful,” a patriotic song; and “All Men Are
    Created Equal, They Are Endowed By Their Creator,”
    an excerpt from the preamble to the Declaration of
    Independence. (SOMF at PP 68-88). Consequently, the subject matter of Plaintiff’s speech was permissible in this
    forum. (SOMF at PP 37, 103, 104).”

    Also, I saw a picture of the banner containing that quote in at least two other articles and a video. I linked the Thomas More site since it had info about their filing a referral to the Supreme Court and had a direct response to the 9th Circuit ruling.

    Your understanding of the phrase as intended by Jefferson does not reflect the original meaning or intent. It was crafted originally to combat the traditional European understanding that kings ruled by divine right and under the direct authority of God the Creator and their subjects received what ever rights the king allowed them to have. So if the subjects rebelled against the king they were ultimately rebelling against God’s chosen authority. Jefferson was contradicting that prevailing notion by claiming that human rights came directly from the Creator and therefore the American colonies were not rebelling against God but a despot who was asserting authority and privileges that he really did not have. A brilliant assertion by Jefferson that won the day and ultimately prevailed even in Europe. Obviously God the Creator was the subject of the phrase and not your reinterpretation.

    Your assertion that deists might have been atheists if they only knew what we know today today is counterproductive at best. It ignores their well thought out philosophical positions on a Creator God that was somewhat disengaged with his creation. That they were not Christians and were obviously non-sectarian in perspective is true. However, it was the deist, Franklin who suggested that every meeting of the Constitutional Convention begin with a prayer, something that an atheist today would never suggest. Also, Jefferson who was the most sectarian of all of the founders saw fit to mention the Creator literally hundreds of times in his writings.

    While your history on the motto and the pledge is essentially correct I obviously disagree with your conclusions that the originals be reinstated. Whether you like the current Motto and Pledge they are still official. One would still expect them to be acceptable to be mentioned and taught in public schools regardless.

    Yes, the Declaration of Independence was not on trial, and I never claimed that it was. However, the right to quote from it in a banner hanging in a classroom was directly ruled on. The fact that the 9th Circuit found the quote from the Declaration along with the Motto and the phrase from the Pledge to be unacceptable to be displayed in a public school because they mentioned God and the Creator is still incredible to me and I hope that it will be over ruled by the US Supreme Court.

  3. Dave Rainsberger

    I’ll leave you with this article about the founding fathers …

    http://www.postgazette.com/pg/12022/1204849-109-0.stm?cmpid=newspanel

    “To hear the religious right tell it, men like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were 18th-century versions of Jerry Falwell in powdered wigs and stockings. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

  4. Dr. D

    Dave, while the article is accurate when it comes to the religion of the founders, the conclusions about the political environment today is somewhat slanted. Mitt Romney is not an orthodox Christian believer in the trinity (he is a polytheist) but he may end up getting the GOP nomination anyway.

    Barack Obama ended up getting elected and he is not a typical Christian and probably our most secular president since Eisenhower. Though I admit in this election year he seems to be wearing his faith far more than in previous years.

    The true test of your theory will come if evangelical voters are forced to choose between Barack Obama who claims to be a Christian but rules as a secularist on nearly every issue or Mitt Romney who is a Mormon but shares all of same social values of conservative Christians.

    Also, it would be wrong to equate my understanding of the founders with the statement above which is at least a gross exaggeration or a slight one at best.

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