Letter to the Editor

Your view: Reclaiming America

Monday, March 8, 2004

When we think of teaching moral values, we must first establish or agree on a standard of values to use. A standard that is fair for all, and one that will not change at different social levels. History tells us that the founding fathers of this great nation had one such standard. They used the Bible. It was the most quoted book used when they set up the framework for our government. They looked to the scriptures as a guide to set up the three branches of government rule, to write the laws of our land and to set a standard of moral conduct and fair treatment for the good of all citizens.

This unchanging book was honored and reverenced until the early 1960s. For 188 years, our country had a rich legacy of laws and judgments in harmony with the Bible. It also had an elevated moral standard, unequaled in all the world. But ever since the Supreme Court abruptly changed and began a different direction in rulings against the Bible and prayer in school, the moral fabric of our country has greatly deteriorated. By the way, these new rulings were completely opposite to the previous 188 years of judgments. They made this drastic change without authority because they did not cite one single precedent for this change. (A precedent is a previous ruling of a case that may serve as an example or reason for a later case.)

I want to show you the court's line of thinking previously about the Bible by quoting just one of any cases. This is the case of The People v. Ruggles, 1811. James Kent (1763-1847), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, rendered the opinion of the court:

"The defendant was indicted ... in December 1810 for all that he did on the 2nd day of September 1810 ... wickedly, maliciously and blasphemously, utter and with a loud voice publish, in the presence and hearing of divers good and Christian people, of and concerning the Christian religion, and of and concerning Jesus Christ, the false, scandalous, malicious, wicked and blasphemous words following: 'Jesus Christ was a bastard and his mother must be a whore,' in contempt of the Christian religion ... the defendant was tried and found guilty and was sentenced by the court to be imprisoned for three months and to pay a fine of $500."

You can see by this judgment that our country was soundly anchored in the word of God and Christianity (note "Christianity," not religion).

Of course we had our problems as a country before the 1960s, but nothing was like we suffer today. So let's compare the country's problems, then and now.

Then: In our schools the biggest complaints of the teachers was children running in the halls, chewing gum and loud talking.

Now: We have school shootings, murder, drugs, disrespect, rape and assaults.

One of the founding fathers had an insight to what we are experiencing today. For on June 2, 1778, John Adams (the second president of the United States) made this journal entry while in Paris: "In vain are schools, academies and universities instituted, if loose principles and licentious habits are impressed upon children in their earliest years ... the vices and examples of the parents cannot be concealed from the children. How is it possible that children can have any just sense of sacred obligations of morality or religion, if from their earliest infancy, they learn their mothers live in habitual infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant infidelity to their mothers?"

As we can clearly see, our forefathers had a much better grasp of biblical standards of moral values than we see embraced today. They would have rose up in unimaginable numbers in protest if the High Court would have ruled to remove a granite monument of the Ten Commandments from a government building as we have seen done in Alabama. I believe impeachment proceedings to remove that judge from the bench, would have started before the ink could have had time to dry on the paper. We need to get back to our country's roots. For those judges who make rulings against religion, the bible and Christianity, they need to be impeached and removed from the bench because of incompetence. For they have no true historical understanding of the law and the founders' true intent of the Constitution. Their rulings today are not consistent with the first 188 years of our Court's history.

The only hope for America is to reclaim America's morals.

Tom McCanless, pastor

Kewanee Missionary Baptist Church