That’s what U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Garbis saw and said two years ago when he awarded summary judgment to a Baltimore CPC. Summary judgment essentially means that one side obviously has the Constitution on its side, and last year a panel of three appeals court justices said Garbis was right. Sadly, the entire U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in July saw it differently, and commanded the district court to have a full trial.
You can read the court’s 60-page decision, but the dissents that follow it are better. Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, the lone remaining Reagan appointee to the 4th Circuit, noted that “the majority fails to respect the Center’s right not to utter a state-sponsored message that offends its core moral and religious principles?…?it should be axiomatic that the First Amendment prohibits the government from dictating the terms of private expression.”
“Should be axiomatic.” Axioms, you may remember from math or logic class, are premises so evident as to be accepted as true without duking it out: The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence could have started out, “We hold these truths to be axioms.” But our culture now holds nothing—not creation as described in chapter 1 of Genesis, not marriage as defined in chapter 2, not sin as shown in chapter 3—to be axiomatic.
That’s our problem. Yes, we need changes in courts, colleges, and media. But nothing works when we ignore biblical axioms.
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