Separating Church, State & Synagogue

The Ten Commandments are in the news again!

Chief Judge Roy Moore of Alabama’s highest court placed a 5,300 pound granite monument, depicting the Ten Commandments, in the rotunda of the judicial building, in Montgomery, where the appellant court sits. He believes "God is the source of our justice system."

A federal judge, Mryon Thompson, disagreed. He ordered Moore to remove the marker, since it represented an endorsement of the Christian religion and violated the First Amendment’s "Establishment of Religion Clause." Judge Moore refused to comply and has been suspended from his post. The U.S. Supreme Court may eventually get the case.

In fact, Judge Moore is wrong about the Ten Commandments being the source of our judicial system. They are a part of American history, but they aren?t the source of our law.

The Founding Fathers, George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Gouverneru Morris, Alexander Hamilton, et al, were all steeped in the classics. For example, the immortal Thomas Jefferson spoke Latin, Greek and French. He also especially valued his copy of Sali’s "Koran" ("Thomas Jefferson: A Life," Willard Sterne Randall).

When searching for precedents to create a Republic, and a Constitutional system, with checks and balances, the Founding Fathers didn’t look to any tales from Jewish tribal or religious folklore. They went primarily to the venerable ancients themselves, the mainspring of Western Civilization: to Greece and Rome ("The Founders and the Classics: Greece, Rome and the American Enlightenment," Carl J. Richard).

It was left to Virginia’s brilliant James Madison, "The Father of the Constitution," to take the key role in its drafting, in Philadelphia, in 1787. He was a Princeton graduate and a man with a scholarly mind. Madison had poured over the works of Plutarch’s "Lives," the orations of Demosthenes, the structure of the Lycian, Amphietyonic and Achaean Confederations, and the splendid history of the Roman Republic, by Polybius, in helping to form the famed document. There is no mention that the Ten Commandments played any role at all in that creative process ("James Madison: A Biography," Robert Ketcham).

Ironies abound. Even when old Moses himself brought the original tablets down from Mount Sinai, he never got the kind of publicity Judge Moore is generating with his orchestrated brouhaha. The Christian Right, Moore’s basic constituency, is making this into a "cause celebre" to serve its own fundamentalist purposes.

Unfortunately, many within the Christian Right also endorse the Zionist Christians’ support of Ariel Sharon’s Israel. How their Christian God, (or the God of the Jews, too), can approve of Israel’s brutal conduct towards the Palestinian people has always been a deep mystery to me.

When I hear televangelist, Rev. Pat Robertson, shilling for Israel, which includes the evil work of its notorious death squads, or when I ponder the continuing silence of "Mr. Moral Arbitrator," one Eli Weisel, towards those same egregious wrong doings, I wonder: What ever happened to God’s sacred edict for man to "obey" the Ten Commandments?

Weisel is the same character who, at a White House ceremony, gave then President George W. Bush Sr., (a/k/a "Big Bush"), in 1991, an "Humanitarian Award," for launching Persian Gulf War No. 1. He even had the nerve to name the dubious prize after himself! Talk about the absurd.

Back to the Founding Fathers. They wanted a strong national government, but one with limited powers. They feared, as the Athenians did, the "Mob," and also the emergence of a dictator, like the genocidist, Oliver Cromwell. After the ratification of the Constitution, they adopted, in 1789, the Bill of Rights. It was drawn mostly from the English Common Law. It was to serve as a check on the power of the federal government.

The First Amendment was directed at preventing the new federal government from creating a "national" religion, like in Great Britain, where Anglicanism is still the "Established Religion." Back in 1789, at least five states had laws on their books that favored a particular religion. For example, in Virginia, Anglicanism was the state-sponsored religion ("The First Freedoms" by Thomas J. Curry).

Over the past few years, however, Supreme Court decisions, have strictly interpreted the First Amendment. It has barred almost any kind of federal or state aid or support to churches or their schools that might remotely endorse, favor, enhance or promote a religion.

Meanwhile, there is this 15,000 pound elephant in the room! It?s called Israel. It is a Jewish religious/secular/zionist state, which has received, since 1948, over $100 billion in freebies from U.S. taxpayers.

That money, since it is fungible, has been used to promote Judaism: Jewish-only immigration to Israel; an Apartheid society that favors the religious practicing Jew; and illegal settlements, which are dominated by Jewish religious zealots. All of the above, and more, has resulted in a Jewish racial and religious imperial hegemony over the indigenous Muslim and Christian communities in Occupied Palestine.

Keep also in mind that Father Emil Salayta of the "Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation," warned, on Dec. 22, 2002, that the "Mother Church in the Holy Land, which is over 2,000 years old, is dying." He blamed it on the Israeli Occupation. He called the Christian Church in the Holy Land, "a suffering church," where hundreds of thousands of Christians have been forced to leave their homes, while "1,200,000 Russian Jews have been permitted to emigrate to Israel."

The Palestinian Muslims forced off their lands, since 1948, by the Zionist terror tactics are well into the millions ( Ralph Schoenman underscored in his expose, "The Hidden History of Zionism," that the avowed purpose of the Zionist Movement was not merely to exploit the Palestinian people, but "to disperse and dispossess them."

Sounds to me like U.S. tax dollars, via "excessive entanglements," are subsidizing the Israeli Occupation and promoting Judaism. Is there a Constitutional double standard at work here?

It is long past the time for a guardian of our Constitutional rights to challenge U.S. aid to Israel as being illegal. Since Judge Moore is presently unemployed, he might want to volunteer. If such a case did succeed, the court could order all the moneys received by Israel returned to the U.S. treasury, and if fraud was involved, impose punitive damages.