The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Flies on the Courtroom Walls (Part 1)

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Flash forward to April 20th[1] – the year really doesn’t matter – and imagine that you are a fly on the wall of either one of two federal district court judges’ chambers.  A news bulletin interrupts normal broadcasting to announce that this sad anniversary has been marked by yet another “Columbine copycat” school violence episode, and the authorities are now on the scene investigating the carnage.[2]

Fly Number One is on the wall of unelected Georgia federal district judge Clarence Cooper’s chambers.  In January of 2005, Cooper agreed with the ACLU in the case of Selman v. Cobb County[3] that an insert placed in the front of biology textbooks by elected school board members constituted an unconstitutional establishment of religion in violation of “separation between church and state.”  The offending phrase read: “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered."  Judge Cooper opined that "… the sticker would appear to advance the religious viewpoint of the Christian fundamentalists,…” thus offending folks sensitive to criticizing[4] Charles Darwin – who might today be dubbed the patron saint of school violence.  More on this later.

Never mind that the state-sponsored biology textbooks’ evolution chapters are propaganda tools for the religion of secular humanism[5] and contain outright falsehoods involving numerous subjects[6], even the moths and fruit flies that are cousins to the critter on his wall.[7]  Having reviewed over twenty of the last crop of science textbooks proposed for adoption in Louisiana, I have firsthand knowledge of these purposeful errors.[8]

Meanwhile, buzz over to Fly Number Two, eavesdropping on the wall of unelected Pennsylvania federal district judge John Jones’ chambers.  Jones, in December 2005, issued a 139-page diatribe in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District[9] blasting the elected (notice the pattern here?) Dover, PA School Board’s decision to order students to be read a cautionary statement about “Saint” Charles Darwin before delving into their biased biology textbooks.  Contemplating the sheer size of the opinion, I’m reminded of the litigators’ maxim that “If you’ve got the facts, then pound the facts; if you’ve got the law, then pound the law; if you’ve got neither, then pound the table.”  The judges’ corollary might end, “Pound the keyboard!”[10]

And again, never mind that the biology textbooks’ evolutionism chapters contain stunning falsehoods that – like overruled case authority – if knowingly argued by an attorney in the context of litigation, would likely constitute a violation of lawyers’ ethical standards.[11]

If these two insects were to elude court security flyswatters and rendezvous to compare notes in, say Dayton, Tennessee, home of the much misunderstood Scopes Trial of 80 years ago[12], the conversation might go something like this:

Georgia Fly:  “My judge sure was shocked at the news of this new Columbine-like rampage!  He said he just can’t understand where this ‘kill or be killed’ mindset comes from.  What did your judge say?”

Pennsylvania Fly:  “My judge was upset, too.  He wonders if bullying is at the root of these senseless acts of violence.  He said he is anxious for humans to evolve past this stage of life on earth.”

Georgia Fly:  "You'd think they'd know a few things, being judges and all..."

Pennsylvania Fly:  "Like what?"

Georgia Fly:  "Well, you know.  The obvious!  That ever since the beginning, God's invisible hand has been clearly perceived in everything around us!  These people are really without excuse!"[13]

Pennsylvania Fly:  "Yes, that's true....  But although they do know God in the deepest part of their hearts, they don't honor him or give thanks to him. They refuse to think clearly.  They think they're wise, but they're really fools."

Georgia Fly:  "It's such a shame!  Here we are, buzzing, breathing examples of His Creation, and yet they've chosen to exchange the glory of God for the fairy tale of evolving birds, and animals and reptiles."

Pennsylvania Fly:  "Even a fly knows it."

Georgia Fly:  "Yeah. But we can be honest.  We're just flies.  You don't have an agenda."

Of course, the common denominator is that both judges – quite unlike America’s founders – are vexed with tin ears and moral laryngitis regarding how men are hardwired.  Jeremiah 17:9[14] offers clear insight about the depravity of human nature.  America’s founding generation unmistakably knew this and took great pains to shape our governing documents taking man’s sinful nature into account[15].  We have been surviving off of the residue of their deposit of wisdom for some time now and are ripe for a reawakening.

The “sowing and reaping” principle that follows naturally from denying the biblical worldview’s reality of sin is well-stated by C.S. Lewis in his 1943 book, The Abolition of Man:  “In a sort of ghastly simplicity, we remove the organ and yet demand the function.  We make men without chests and then expect of them virtue and enterprise.  We laugh at honor and then are shocked when we find traitors in our midst.  We castrate and then bid the geldings be fruitful.”  In other words, sow secular humanism and survivalist mentality in the fall, expect a Columbine harvest in the spring.  Having sown the seeds of godlessness for many years now, it should surprise no one that our jails are full, our families struggling, and our schools are now statistically the most dangerous place for a child to be.[16]  How ironic it is that legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and not some theologian nailed the problem with his observation that, "The criminal is the product of spiritual starvation. Someone failed miserably to bring him to know God, love Him and serve Him."[17]

But then, ironies abound in constitutional jurisprudence.[18]  For example, it was in Kentucky that one of the early student violence episodes occurred in 1997, resulting in the murder of three students and wounding of five others. And it was Kentucky’s (elected) legislature that had earlier enacted a law[19] requiring the posting in schools – at no taxpayer expense – of the Ten Commandments issued by the God-In-Whom-We-Say-We-Trust, including “thou shalt not murder.”[20]

Endnotes:

[1] It was on April 20, 1999, Hitler’s birthday, that teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered twelve fellow students and a teacher and wounded twenty-four others before committing suicide at Littleton, Colorado’s Columbine High School.
[2] For readers who doubt whether our youth think such violent thoughts, consider the February 2, 2006 news item reporting that a seventh-grade student in West Warwick, Rhode Island is being investigated over a school essay that advocated violence against President Bush, executives of Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, the police and school officials.  His perfect day would be to see the destruction of these people, the school superintendent reported.  http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/02/02/D8FH5TLGA.html
[3] Selman v. Cobb County School District, 390 F.Supp.2d 1286 (N.D. Ga., 2005).
[4] Ironically, Darwin devoted three of the fifteen chapters of Origin of Species to criticism of his own model of origins, and spent several pages in chapter seven discussing the subject of irreducible complexity.  In his book’sIntroduction, Darwin acknowledged that “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”
[5] Secular Humanism was identified as a “religion” by SCOTUS in Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 495, note 11, 81 S.Ct. 1680, 6 L.Ed.2d 982 (1961).  Its major tenets – diametrically opposite to America’s Declaration of Independence – are “No Creator; No Creation; No Moral Absolutes.”
[6] For an interesting analysis of the false “icons” of evolution, see Jonathan Wells’ essay, “Survival of the Fakest”, published in American Spectator, December 2000/January 2001 issue, and reproduced at http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/science/sc0066.html.
[7] Inaccuracies associated with Bernard Kettlewell’s “Peppered Moth” experiment have been exposed in the New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/18/science/life/18MOTH.html.  The mutation that causes fruit flies to grow an extra set of wings – often hailed as an example of natural selection – is exposed as doing nothing of the kind in Answers in Genesis essay at http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/re2/chapter5.asp.
[8] In the fall of 2002, Louisiana Family Forum’s Education Resource Council, joined by several state lawmakers, college professors, teachers, parents, and students, sought to dissuade state decisionmakers against approving biology textbooks containing known falsehoods and unbalanced treatment of evolutionism.  When all was said and done, Louisiana’s State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education rejected six proposed textbooks but approved a dozen that also contained errors and omissions.  http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/12/afa/192002c.asp
[9] Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District,___ F.Supp.2d ___ (2005 WL 3465563) (M.D. Pa., 2005).
[10] In obiter dicta (surplussage), Judge Jones writes, “…the Court is confident that no other tribunal in the United States is in a better position than are we to traipse into this controversial area. Finally, we will offer our conclusion on whether ID [Intelligent Design] is science not just because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause violation has occurred in this case, but also in the hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us.” [p. 63](emphasis added).
[11] “A lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact … to a tribunal.”  Rule 3.3(a)1 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, adopted in both Georgia and Pennsylvania under the heading “Candor Toward the Tribunal.”  For a glimpse at how Jesus Christ viewed withholding candor [i.e., truth] from impressionable children, consider Matthew 18:6 and Luke 9:42.
[12] A fascinating demystification of the Scopes Trial is available in the lecture, “Inherently Wind” by David Menton, M.D.
[13] “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”  Romans 1:20-23
[14] The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (ESV)
[15] "Relative Influence of European Writers on Late Eighteenth Century American Political Thought," by Lutz and Hyneman, 1984 American Political Science Review, 189 at pp. 189-97).  Over a 10 year period they reviewed 15,000 items and closely read 2,200 books, pamphlets, newspaper articles, and monographs with explicitly political content printed from 1760 - 1805.  They reduced this to 916 items, about 1/3 of all political writings longer than 2,000 words.  From these items, they identified 3,154 references to other sources.  The source most often cited by the founding fathers was the Bible, which accounted for 34% of all citations.  After the Bible were Baron Charles Montesquieu (8.3%), Sir William Blackstone (7.9%) & John Locke (2.9%).  Their conclusions were that, "The most cited thinkers were not deists and philosophers, but conservative legal and political thinkers who often were Christians.  The fifth book of the Bible, Deuteronomy, because of its heavy emphasis on Biblical law, was referred to frequently." From Christianity and the Constitution by John Eidsmoe, pages 72-73.
[16] The social consequences of evolutionism are succinctly listed athttp://www.judgewhite.com/docs/socialconsequences.pdf, extracted from In the Beginning, Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, by Walt Brown, www.creationscience.com
[17] American Minute with Bill Federer, http://www.daily-meditations.org/AmericanMinute1.html.
[18] Ironic as well is the coincidence that, only two days before the Pennsylvania federal judge’s December 2005 ruling that shielded Darwinian evolutionism from criticism by “irreducible complexity” (aka intelligent design) theorists, two students in Lancaster, CA were arrested for plotting a “Columbine copycat” murder spree.
[19] 1978 Ky. Acts, ch. 436, 1 (effective June 17, 1978), Ky. Rev. Stat. 158.178 (1980).
[20] Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17.

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