The United States Code refers to the Declaration of Independence as the “organic law” of the United States. And the Declaration clearly claims that there is an Almighty Creator God, that our rights come from Him, and that the purpose of civil government is to protect and defend the God-given rights of the people. The Declaration makes reference to the Bible, God’s Word, as the source of earthly, legal authority.
Civil government includes federal, state, and local city governments like the town of Rienzi, Mississippi, where, this past weekend, more than 1/3 of the town’s population showed up to a rally in defense of a Christian flag flying over their Veterans Memorial Park.
It seems the Freedom from Religion organization wrote a letter that threatened a half-million-dollar lawsuit against the small town of 300 people if the flag wasn't taken down.
Some folks like organizer Kevin Nelms responded like Americans, declaring, “We're not gonna let other people, or a foundation, or anybody else up in Wisconsin tell us that we can't fly our flag! You're gonna take one down; we're gonna put a hundred back up.”
Unfortunately, there were city government leaders showing a bit more bewilderment and naiveté. Believing that he had no choice in the matter, Rienzi Mayor Walter Williams pulled the flag down, saying, "I never dreamed that something like this would have happened in a town this small, but it happened.”
I am sure this mayor is shocked that the First Amendment, which states, “Congress shall make no Law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” would be used as a legal threat by an assailing organization that hates God.
So, the legal question I present to you is whether the city has broken the law by flying a Christian flag, among others, at a Veterans memorial? In other words, does flying a flag equate to Congress making a law, the effect of which is to establish an official United States religion?
Well, the answer seems to clearly be “NO” for at least two very simple reasons:
- The city of Rienzi is NOT “Congress”
- A flag being hung is not a “law”
In order to find that a flag hung in Mississippi (or anywhere else) is a violation of the Establishment Clause, the first thing you have to conclude is that the city of Rienzi is, in legal contemplation, the Congress of the United States.
Crazy, you say?
I agree. But this is exactly the conclusion that some maintain through a “legal fiction” the courts call the “Incorporation Doctrine.”
George Washington, our First President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces that won the war for our independence, and the President of the Congress that gave us our Constitution and the First Amendment, insisted:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens.”
In other words, George Washington would have called dysfunctional organizations like the Freedom from Religion “un-Patriotic” and therefore “un-American”! So along with the city of Rienzi, let’s be Patriots and hang our Christian flags!
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