Veterans in Defense of Liberty® was honored to file on behalf of our WWI brothers – and Religious Liberty for every American – not one but two Amicus Briefs with the SCOTUS in support of the Bladensburg Cross. The decision of the Supreme Court announced on 20 June 2019 is a significant historical recognition that there is NO separation between Church and State but rather between State and church.
Although Justice Alito did not mention any Amici Briefs in his opinion, he did use many of the citations we offered in our Brief. These citations provide support against the litany of abuses Religious Liberty has suffered for many years. They provide support for the truth expressed by George Washington in his Farewell Address, “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 labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.” For the first time in years, the SCOTUS has turned America in the direction of freedom by beginning to re-strengthen these “indispensable supports.
A key stumbling block to Religious Liberty has been weakened significantly through this decision. The Lemon Test may not be dead, but it has been mortally wounded and is presently on life support awaiting the next case that will, “pull the plug.”
The Lemon test is to review (1) whether the law has a secular purpose, (2) whether its primary effect advances or inhibits religion, or (3) whether it fosters an excessive entanglement with religion. The strict separationist view espoused by AHA and the panel majority unhooks this test from the overarching purpose of the Establishment Clause —that being to prevent the government from interfering with religious institutions and their doctrines. It ignores the salutary, secular benefits to society that religious organizations and the practice of religion provide benefits the Founders did not prohibit, but understood and welcomed.
Every American of faith should have felt just a little lighter on 20 June 2019; they should have thought it just a little easier to breathe the sweet aroma of freedom and liberty for their Religious Liberty was just made more secure. Americans are now freer than they have been for decades. A Calvin Coolidge observed, “The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.
Veterans in Defense will always remember, and we will always stand tall for them and the moral example they embody. Ut Prosim – that I may serve, de oppresso liber – to free the oppressed.” In the Bladensburg Cross case, it was American Religious Liberty and all Americans who were oppressed. Read Veterans in Defense of Liberty’s Amicus Curiae here :https://vidolamerica.org/