Letter: Many recognize America as Christian nation, he says
TO THE EDITOR: Many past and present U.S. Supreme Court justices recognize America as a Christian nation.
Justice Story openly declared: One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. . . . There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations. . . . I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society.
Justice John McLean (1785-1861) was appointed to the Court by President Andrew Jackson. For many years, my hope for the perpetuity of our institutions has rested upon Bible morality and the general dissemination of Christian principles.
Justice Earl Warren (1891-1974) agreed with his predecessors. I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under law, and the reservation of powers to the people. . . . I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that, as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country.
The Supreme Court also regularly relied on Christian principles as the basis of its rulings on issues such as marriage, citizenship, foreign affairs and domestic treaties. For example, when some federal territories attempted to introduce the practice of bigamy and polygamy, the Supreme Court disallowed those practices because:
The organization of a community for the spread and practice of polygamy is . . . contrary to the spirit of Christianity and of the civilization which Christianity has produced in the Western world.
Willful historical ignorance begets serfdom.