by Steve Wagers

We Can't Separate Church and State!
Steve N. Wagers
Psalm 33:12
July 3, 2005

Sermon Outline
1. The Behavior of a Foolish Nation!
A. No Regard for Moral Decency!
B. No Respect for Spiritual Authority!
2. The Burden of a Forgetful Nation!
A. How Swiftly we have Forgotten God!
B. How Sorrowfully we have Forgotten God!
3. The Blessing of a Favored Nation!
A. A Nation Embracing Divine Authority!
B. A Nation Enjoying Divine Prosperity!

* Just this past week, a divided Supreme Court, on Monday, struck down Ten Commandments displays in two Kentucky courthouses, but ruled a 6-foot granite replica on state government land in Texas is acceptable. In the first ruling, McCreary County v. ACLU, the court said the Kentucky displays violated the Establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits government from endorsing or supporting one religion above others.

* The justices ruled 5-4 that the Ten Commandments could not be displayed in court buildings or on government property. However, the Biblical laws could be displayed in an historical context, as they are in a frieze in the Supreme Court building. Notably, the first four commandments, which have to do with honoring God and the Sabbath, were obscured by the artist who designed the frieze.

* Justice David H. Souter wrote in the majority opinion, citing previous court rulings, "The touchstone for our analysis is the principle that the 'First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and non-religion."

* In her concurring opinion, O'Connor acknowledged that "we are a religious people," but said that the separation between church and state was the very thing that freed Americans to practice their faiths.

* Leading the dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia railed against what he perceived as the majority opinion's inconsistency. Listing the various ways in which higher beings are invoked in public life -- from "so help me God" in inau ...

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