As of Tuesday, March 31, 2015
I read with interest Wayne Wimer’s March 25 letter to the Free Press, in which he asserted that the United States Supreme Court has never ruled, specifically, that “our entire legal system” is based on the Ten Commandments. Like any skilled lawyer, Mr. Wimer is adept at narrowly interpreting statements of fact in order to make a point. What he didn’t make reference to, however, are the many high court and lower court decisions throughout our 239-year history which affirm our institutions of government indeed are rooted in the precepts of the Holy Bible. Among the best known cases is the 1892 Supreme Court decision, Church of the Holy Trinity v. the United States, in which the court ruled: “Our laws and institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teaching of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that is should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”
Another is the 1931 decision, United States v. Macintosh, in which Justice George Sutherland wrote for the majority: “We are a Christian people…according to one another the equal right of religious freedom, and acknowledge with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God.”
Still another is the 1952 case of Zorach v. Board of Education, where Justice William O. Douglas, a liberal, delivered the court’s opinion, stating: “We are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being….”
In Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, Justice Joseph Story wrote for a unanimous Supreme Court in 1844: “It is also said, and truly that the Christian religion is a part of the common law….”
In People v. Ruggles, Chancellor Kent, the great commentator on American law, speaking as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, said: “We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of other religions.”
There are others....