Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, [we] must fall with them (Jedediah Morse, 1799). Yesterday [April 15], 223 years to the day after patriots ratified an end the Revolutionary War, a judge in Wisconsin ruled to reintroduce tyranny in America—this time, from the bench. In a decision that is rocking our nation to its very core, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb determined that a national day of prayer—a tradition as old as the country itself–is unconstitutional. “…[R]ecognizing the importance of prayer to many people does not mean that the government may enact a statute in support of it…” With all due respect, the government may do exactly that under the very documents that established it. “[The] sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records,” Alexander Hamilton insisted. “They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of divinity itself; and can never be erased by mortal power.”
Had Judge Crabb consulted the Constitution she was sworn to uphold, she might notice that Americans enjoy religious freedom—not by virtue of the courts, but in spite of them. Furthermore, setting aside a day of corporate prayer is more than compatible with our nation’s heritage; it is a responsibility assigned to every American by George Washington himself. “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God… and humbly implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer” (Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789).
Contrary to Judge Crabb’s opinion, this ruling does not promote freedom, it crushes it. Americans pray voluntarily. And exercising that right together, as a willing nation, is exactly what the Founding Fathers intended. To imply otherwise is to suggest that the Constitution is unconstitutional! Religion cannot be banned in America because it was never imposed—not by the Founding Fathers, and certainly not by the National Day of Prayer. While this is one of many instances in which the courts have tried to banish God from the public square, this case reveals a level of supreme arrogance. Ultimately, Judge Crabb is inferring that she found something in the Constitution that every President and Congress since 1775 has not: a hostile treatment of religion in public life.
Make no mistake. This judicial mutiny lies directly at the feet of the Left, including President Obama, who has created an atmosphere in which the Constitution is silly putty in the hands of liberal activists. Slowly but surely, he is making American soil more fertile for the radical redefinition of society. This cannot be tolerated. We must ensure that the President’s bench nominees have a reverence for the Constitution that this judge lacks. In the meantime, we call on Congress to start the impeachment proceedings for Barbara Crabb, as she violated of her sacred oath of “administering justice… under the Constitution and laws of the United States.” What she has done to repress, we will use to revive. What she meant to undermine prayer, we will use as the reason why it’s necessary. When the great men and women of our past bent their knees to God on behalf of the “sacred fire of liberty,” it was often during the nation’s darkest days. My friends, it is time we join them.
Tony Perkins heads the Family Research Council. This article is excerpted from the Washington Update that he compiles for the FRC.