No. 423


Former president Harry Truman, referring to our Founding Fatherâs understanding of human rights once said, ãThe basis for our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I donât think we can emphasize that enough these days. If we donât have a proper founded moral background, we will finally end up with a government, which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.ä One of those Founding Fatherâs President Truman was referring to was our nationâs fourth, President James Madison, who was also known as the Father of the United States Constitution. It is a matter of record where he said, ãWe have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.ä
Now that is a far cry from something that I have just read in the Mission Statement for the ACLU, which stands for the American Civil Liberties Union. This statement says in part, ãThe ACLU is active in our national and state capitals, fighting to ensure that the Bill of Rights will always be more than a ãparchment barrierä against government oppression and the tyranny of the majority.ä This organization, founded in 1920, now has around 380,000 card-carrying members and one of its goals is to ãwork to insure that religious liberty is protected by keeping the government out of the religion business.ä

What this means is that this Îself-appointedâ organization is basically in existence to protect us from ourselves. From my perspective, they have been highly successful, but it has been terrible for America. Anytime there is an issue, whether national, state or local, involving the so-called separation of church and state, you will find them there fighting to remove the presence of God and all religious observances in any public arena where tax dollars are used to build or fund it. Is this really and truly what George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry and our other Forefatherâs had in mind when they established our government?

One of the latest issues of this nature came about back in August 2003, when Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was forced to remove the Ten Commandments from the Rotunda of the Alabama Justice Building. The day this took place, something interesting happened here locally. It was discovered that a copy of the Ten Commandments were hanging on the wall of a municipal court building of a community near Little Rock. At this point, I donât know whether this copy will be removed or not, but the CBS television affiliate did a poll that day and contacted 500 people by telephone and asked the question, ãDo you think the Ten Commandments on the municipal court building wall should be removed?ä

Here were the results. 90% said they should stay. 9% said they should come down and I guess the other 1 % was undecided, like the fellow who said his favorite color was plaid. During this time the state ACLU director was interviewed on television to get her opinion and some comments. She said they should come down because the government did not need to be in the religion business and her next comments were what really galvanized me. She said, ãWhat if people like Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus and those of other faiths would be offended.ä

In all my days I have never heard of an American going to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, India, Japan or any other country and being offended because they had symbols of their religions on display. Give me a break!! In recent days we have had reports of those in our country that want to remove the word God from our currency and to remove the word God when we recite the Pledge Of Allegiance to our flag. The one thing I have not heard that would be just about as ridiculous is for some of these folks to suggest that we should remove the passages from the Bible that have been chiseled in stone or marble on many of the buildings in our nationâs capital.

Please understand, the ACLU and its members have the same rights that you and I have, and I certainly respect that. One of the reasons for writing this column is that I want more Americans to know about this organization and what they stand for. If we really and truly want to do something to change things in this country, we need to elect Godly men and women to be judges, who understand what our forefathers were talking about. They meant for us to have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)