Henderson County Mayor Dan Hughes received a hostile letter from the anti-religious liberty group, the so-called “Freedom” From Religion Foundation (FFRF), on June 30. The focus of their warning—an inscription from Psalm 89:14 on the side of the county courthouse’s cornerstone: “Justice and judgement are the habitation of thy throne: Mercy and truth shall go before thy face.”
The verse has been there for over fifty years, since the courthouse’s construction in 1961. Reportedly, a local resident contacted the anti-religious liberty group and asked them to lodge a complaint, claiming “this perpetuates the myth that our law is based on biblical principles.”
Mayor Hughes responded to the FFRF by writing, “Our community is based on the belief of a true and living God,” adding that he hopes to add another verse from the Psalms. The scripture Mayor Hughes proposes, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance” Psalm 33:12 (KJV), underscores his point.
In a second letter alluding to the threat of legal action, FFRF admits, “Our Constitution guarantees Henderson County residents the right to free exercise of religion,” but they go on to conflate the idea that because our Founding Fathers opposed the oppressive British monarchy, they would be opposed to “the [B]ible verse enshrined on [the] courthouse’s wall [that] speaks of God’s throne.”
In the FFRF’s inaccurate claim that “our nation is founded on a godless Constitution,” they intentionally ignore specific references in the Constitution.
In the Attestation Clause following Article VII, the Constitution refers to the date of signing as the “Year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven” and “of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth.” This was no formality—France changed its calendar in the wake of its revolution in a move toward secularism.
Of similar importance, the Declaration of Independence notes the central concept of unalienable rights being “endowed by their Creator” and appeals to “the Supreme Judge of the world.” The ideals of the Declaration serve as a foundation for the Constitution itself.
This demonstrates that FFRF is guilty of the fallacy of trying to undermine the Framers’ original intent to PROTECT the free exercise of religion. It also argues against revisionist groups like FFRF trying to establish a state religion of atheism through legal harassment of local governments.
This should prompt us to humbly pray for the members of FFRF and others who are trying to eradicate all mention of God in the public square, that they will experience the joy of saving faith before having to appear before the Supreme Judge themselves.
Until such a time, the National Center for Life and Liberty will continue setting the record straight and defending the religious rights of all Americans in the courtroom, the church, the classroom, and the public square. Thank you for your prayers and financial partnership in protecting our shared freedoms.
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