Supreme Court Rules Theft LegalBy <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Lowell Scott
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As nations go, America is a cocky adolescent complete with a somewhat damaged sense of vulnerability, a bright future glistening with potential, and clearly much to learn. The genius of our country's forefathers is evidenced in the political framework they fashioned encouraging our societal growth and maturation. They understood that men are by nature sinners, and that power corrupts, but they would be horrified to learn that five of the nine justices seated on the highest court of law in the land would legalize the theft of one person's property in order to give it to another person or group that coveted the land. Evidently this land is only your land until someone more powerful, better connected politically, or with more high powered lawyers wants it to be their land.
Shockingly, that is exactly what happened on June 23, 2005 in the case Kelo v. New London, when a majority of Supreme Court ruled that "eminent domain" can be used by government officials to forcibly seize privately owned property, not just for public uses such as a road, school, or a courthouse. But also for private use if they can show that doing so will serve what's ironically called "the public good." What is "the public good" you ask, well anything that government officials believes is a higher and better use of the property; i.e. more taxes being paid, or people employed. Under the guise of "economic development" every homeowner in America is now in jeopardy of receiving a condemnation notice from the government that a private entity wants and can now legally steal their property, home, and dreams. Receiving a check for fair market value is little consolation to a family being forced to sell their home. Far fetched you say, not here you muse. Think again, as it is happening all across this nation, over 10,000 documented cases so far, and this plague is deadly and contagious. Unconstitutional, fundamentally wrong, outrageous miscarriage of justice; not any longer, it just became legal because five jurists in black robes say so.
Can this be true, how can this be happening in the United States of America? The answer is that as a nation we have failed to teach the truth and totality of God's Word, that our society has forfeited a comprehensive way of life called a Christian worldview. Earlier generations understood that our rights and our liberties are a gift from God, not the government. They knew what it meant when they read that all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" and "to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Their understanding of the source of our rights provided a Christianized safety net to all of the citizens, believers or not. The Kelo ruling is just another step down the road as our government continues its slouch towards atheistic humanism and socialism. Public officials lying to one another and the citizenry, individual liberties ignored for political, personal and economic gain, and private property rights in danger, all resulting from the continuing atrophy of our Christian foundations.
We have elected, appointed, and confirmed too many in authority who deny that God is the sovereign owner of all His creation. Too many who fail to grasp that God has given dominion of the earth over to man. Man is to steward the earth, to rule over it, and subdue it for the glory of God. God's authority, delegated to man, is what makes human ownership legitimate. Each of last five commandments demonstrates the importance of private ownership in God's creation. His prohibitions against taking another's life (murder), stealing another's wife (adultery), taking anything that is not your own (stealing), robbing a man's good reputation (against false witness), and forbidding the coveting of any private property (against covetousness) all evidence the principle that there are things that belong to your neighbor and cannot lawfully be taken from him. The private ownership of land is further supported by scripture in Deuteronomy 19:14: "Do not move your neighbor's boundary stone .." and 27:17 which says "Cursed is the man who moves his neighbor's boundary stone.
While God's law is unchanging, man's law is arbitrary and capricious. In 1857, the United States Supreme Court ruled that all people of African ancestry -- slaves as well as those who were free -- could never become citizens of the United States in the Dred Scott case. Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote in his ruling that it was "beyond dispute" that blacks were not included in the Declaration of Independence phrase "all men created equal". Frederick Douglass thereafter announced "my hopes were never brighter than now." Let us pray that the Kelo ruling will reawaken the Church of Jesus Christ and stir a return to Christian involvement in our culture.
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