While critics of these mostly anti-religious rulings are right in scolding the court for its misinterpretation of the Constitution, are such persons also in violation of the will of the very God they claim to represent? Why, in fact, do such people feel the need for public displays representing what they believe? Isn't this a kind of false security, similar to airport security screeners?
Religious activists fool themselves if they believe public displays of the Ten Commandments reflect a more moral and less corrupt nation. One needs only to watch television to discern the level of our depravity.
God dismissed the visible sacrifices of the ancient Israelites when those sacrifices became rituals. In their hearts and behavior, they worshipped false gods. Their actions did not match their doctrines. Do those advocating for more public displays of religion privately practice what they publicly preach? If they did, the influence of their proclaimed righteousness might reach all the way to the Supreme Court. Whether it did, or not, it would reach all the way to their God.
In his teaching about prayer, Jesus said something instructive for those who advocate public religiosity: "When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men . when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:5)
Are there expectations in the Bible that God needs the state to promote himself and that such promotion should be visible? That's not the teaching of the Scriptures that advocates of public religion claim to believe.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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