Supreme Court <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Rulings Place Americans on Notice<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
By Pastor Steve Holley
It used to be that the month of June was consumed with events that breathed life into the spirit of America. Children celebrating the close of the school year, the "pomp and circumstance" of high school and college graduations, the splendor and beauty of weekend weddings, and the anticipation of summer vacations were just a few of the activities that brought joy to the month of June. But the waning days of June 2005 have cast an ominous shadow upon the freedoms that Americans have enjoyed since the founding of the nation.
On Friday, June 24th, the Supreme Court of the United States put all Americans on notice that if locally elected officials want their property for economic development, those officials need only pay the fair market value to obtain the property, regardless of the personal desire of the landowner. That's right the United States Supreme Court essentially reinterpreted that portion of the 5th Amendment that prohibits the taking of property by the government except for "public use," to include private use if it brings economic development to a community.
So the little old lady who has been living in the family home that has been passed down from generation to generation is told by the 5 majority jurists that "public use" should mean "private use", as well. It all boils down to the fact that the property taxes that the little old lady pays to the local government are a pittance to the revenue that the municipality would receive from a more deep pocketed private owner.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor rightly noted in her dissent that the "specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the State from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory." Or, I might add, any church with whatever whim might lurk within the mind of any mayor and his machine.
And if that wasn't enough, on Monday, June 27th, this same court boldly notified God that your laws are without honor in the courthouses of this nation. While the 5 jurists who came to this decision have publicly rendered their opinion, explaining in legalese their rationale behind their actions; the grand moment awaits them when they will all stand before the Giver of those Laws and explain themselves to Him.
I find it rather ironic and grossly hypocritical that 5 justices who begin each session of the court with the phrase "God save the United States and this Honorable Court!", would render a decision that would remove the Ten Commandments from the very houses where justice should prevail. And if that is not enough, the fact that they would allow artistic renderings to depict significant religious events as some type of appeasing gesture has rendered this court's legacy to that of a trite cartoon.
While we, as a nation, may think that the only war taking place in the world today is in Iraq, we need only look at the persistent struggle for freedom that our nation is suffering at the hands of its third branch of governance -- the Supreme Court. Surely, the political and media war that is about to ensue with any forthcoming announcement of a Supreme Court vacancy will jolt us into the reality that we are in a great conflict for freedom. I think it appropriate for us on this somber occasion to remember the warning of William Penn, who in 1681 said "If you are not governed by God, you will be governed by tyrants."
Worldview Weekend Foundation
PO BOX 1690
Collierville, TN, 38027 USA