Happy Hour News BriefsIt’s payback time!
President-elect Donald Trump earned the support of Christian voters because of his promise to appoint only constitutional originalists to the Supreme Court. We stuck with him through one of the nastiest elections in modern history, and 81 percent of us turned out on Election Day to hand him the stunning victory that took the world by surprise.
It will soon be time for Mr. Trump to begin keeping his promise to us, which means he must put forward nominees whose view of “original intent” go back to the actual origins of the republic and the biblical worldview of the Founding Fathers. Thus, the most important case on which the Trump administration must vet candidates is not Roe v. Wade (1973); it is Roe’s juridical progenitor Everson v. Board of Education (1947).
OK, so pretty standard stuff. But then Lively throws into the mix a strange reference:
However, 50 years before Everson, the biblical foundations of American law were squarely addressed in a unanimous ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States (1892). The proof of the biblical roots of America’s legal system was so extensive that it took the court five full pages just to summarize them, but can be represented here by the court’s one-sentence conclusion: “These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that THIS IS A CHRISTIAN NATION” (emphasis added). Neither American history nor the legal precedents changed, just the integrity of the men tasked with preserving them.
And a quick trip to the innernets reveals that Holy Trinity v. United States was actually a labor case: in the days of indentured servitude, someone tried importing a minister:
Contracts to import labor were forbidden by Federal law, and specifically by the Alien Contract Labor Law, an Act of Congress passed in 1885 prohibiting “the importation and migration of foreigners and aliens under contract or agreement to perform labor or service of any kind in the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia.”
The court held that a minister was not a foreign laborer under the statute even though he was a foreigner.
And now for Lively’s money shot, so to speak, about this being a Christian Nation; the Justice Brewer tells us:
But in what sense can it be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or that people are in any matter compelled to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Neither is it Christian in the sense that all of its citizens are either in fact or name Christian. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within our borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all. Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or otherwise engaging in public service, or essential to recognition either politically or socially. In fact, the government as a legal organization is independent of all religions. Nevertheless, we constantly speak of this republic as a Christian Nation–in fact, as the leading Christian Nation of the world. This popular use of the term certainly has significance. It is not a mere creation of the imagination. It is not a term of derision but has substantial basis–one which justifies its use
So, in other words, Lively is full of shit that his eyes are brown. Lesson: always check theocrats words. Always.