Friday, July 2, 2010

Christianity of the Common Law by David Barton

The supreme court responded: The jury finds a malicious intention in the speaker to vilify the Christian religion and the Scriptures and this court cannot look beyond the record nor take any notice of the allegation that the words were uttered by the defendant, a member of a debating association which convened weekly for discussion and mutual information. That there is an association in which so serious a subject is treated with so much levity, indecency and scurrility vulgar and obscene language I am sorry to hear, for it would prove a nursery of vice, a school of preparation to qualify young men for the gallows and young women for the brothel, and there is not a skeptic of decent manners and good morals who would not consider such debating clubs as a common nuisance and disgrace to the city.

It was the outpouring of an invective so vulgarly shocking and insulting that the lowest grade of civil authority ought not to be subject to it, but when spoken in a Christian land and to a Christian audience, the highest offence contra bonus mores against proper standards. Having rejected the defense argument concerning a debating society, the court concluded by refuting the defense contention that the constitution disregarded Christianity: The assertion is once more made that Christianity never was received as part of the common law of this Christian land; and it is added that if it was it was virtually repealed by the Constitution of the United States and of this State.

We will first dispose of what is considered the grand objection the constitutionality of Christianity for, in effect, that is the question. Christianity, general Christianity, is and always has been a part of the common law not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; not Christianity with an established church but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men. Thus this wise legislature framed this great body of laws for a Christian country and Christian people.

This is the Christianity of the common law and thus it is irrefragably undeniably proved that the laws and institutions of this State are built on the foundation of reverence for Christianity. In this the Constitution of the United States has made no alteration nor in the great body of the laws which was an incorporation of the common law doctrine of Christianity. No free government now exists in the world unless where Christianity is acknowledged and is the religion of the country. Its foundations are broad and strong and deep it is the purest system of morality, the firmest auxiliary and only stable support of all human laws.

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