This is Insurrection

Do evangelical Christians really want to say that this United States government is no longer a legitimate government?

BY: Richard Land


The Ten Commandments controversy involving Judge Roy Moore in Alabama has sharply divided evangelical Christians. Why? Because the controversy involves two issues, not just one.

The first issue involves whether or not the Ten Commandments in particular, and acknowledgment of God in general, are permissible in public buildings in the United States. On that issue, I, like most evangelical Christians and many other Americans, agree with Judge Roy Moore's position.

I, too, am indignant at attempts by courts to deny our Judeo-Christian heritage and enforce a secular bias on our public spaces. I, too, am angered at the attempt by a federal appeals court to take "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance. I, too, am angered when courts rule that publicly-funded scholarships can be used by students to study anything but religion or ministry.

I, too, am angered when courts allow public school teachers to teach about Islam but deny students the right to express their Christian faith at public school sporting events. I, too, am angered when--as Justice Antonin Scalia said in his dissent in the Supreme Court's Lawrence decision striking down anti-sodomy laws--the Supreme Court takes sides in the culture war. I will continue to protest such hostile court rulings. I will continue to encourage evangelical Christians to rise up and reform this government and its courts.

However, we are a government committed to the rule of law. That is the second issue in the Ten Commandments-Judge Moore controversy. Do evangelical Christians really want to say that this United States government is no longer a legitimate government and that we are no longer obligated to obey its courts when we disagree with their rulings? If so, let us understand it for what it is. It is insurrection.

Alabama's Attorney General Bill Pryor has stated the second issue with eloquence:

"Although I believe the Ten Commandments are the cornerstone of our legal heritage and that they can be displayed constitutionally as they are in the U.S. Supreme Court building, I will not violate nor assist any person in the violation of this injunction. As Attorney General, I have a duty to obey all orders of courts even when I disagree with those orders..We have a government of laws, not of men."

If Attorney General Pryor in good conscience could not uphold his sworn duty, then he should resign rather than breaking his oath of office. If we disagree with a judicial interpretation of the law--as Judge Moore, Attorney General Pryor, and millions of other Americans do in this case--then we must change the judges and, if necessary, change the laws.

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