When Barack Obama was elected as our nation’s president in November, I urged Christian America to earnestly pray for him because I believe the Bible compels us to pray for our leaders.
And while I continue to pray for our president, I was perplexed this week to learn about his first judicial nominee, David Hamilton, who has been nominated to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
As noted by Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, Judge Hamilton is “the infamous activist judge who in 2005 ordered the speaker of the Indiana House to immediately stop the practice of ‘sectarian prayers’ at the opening of the legislative session. Apparently the prayers were too Christian for Mr. Hamilton.”
Judge Hamilton ruled, “[T]hey should refrain from using Christ’s name or title.”
Is he serious? As I’ve pointed out on several occasions in this column, this nation was founded on, and has a long history of advancing, Judeo-Christian values. Our nation’s capital is bursting with Christian imagery, including the frieze of Moses and images of the Ten Commandments at the U.S. Supreme Court. Our founders fearlessly placed their faith in the Christ of the Bible.
I wonder how men like Judge Hamilton sidestep the numerous statements of our founders in advancing Christian principles.
What does he think of James Madison, the father of the Constitution, who wrote that “the belief in a God All Powerful, wise and good … is essential to the moral order of the World and the happiness of men”?
Do men like Judge Hamilton simply disregard the words of Elias Boudinot, president of the Continental Congress (1777-78), who wrote, “Our country should be preserved from the dreadful evil of becoming enemies of the religion of the Gospel, which I have no doubt, but would be the introduction of the dissolution of government and the bonds of civil society”?
This is our history, the record of our founding, and I could write for hours about pro-Bible, pro-Christian statements from our founders, including John Jay, our nation’s first Supreme Court chief justice (and the second president of the American Bible Society, by the way), who said, “… it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Tragically, men like Judge Hamilton either ignore or revise the intent of such words. It is interesting to note that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where Judge Hamilton would sit if approved, overturned his decision to oust Christ’s name.
Mrs. Wright said, “David Hamilton proved the liberal American Bar Association correct when they rated him as ‘not qualified’ for his current post. Hamilton’s decisions reveal a deep disrespect for the Constitution and overinflated view of his own opinion. Senators would be derelict in their duties if they vote to promote him to do further damage to religious freedom and justice.”
This is a tragic move on our president’s part. I was hopeful that President Obama would understand the necessity for prayer in government, specifically after I learned of the words he wrote on a paper he left at the Western Wall in Jerusalem during last year’s visit there. The Israeli paper Maariv obtained the paper, which read:
Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins and help me guard against pride and despair.
Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just.
And make me an instrument of your will.
That is a beautiful and heartening prayer by a man who obviously believes in the power of prayer.
Therefore, I wish to urge President Obama to carefully consider the men and women he nominates to our nation’s courts. Especially at a time like this, our nation cannot be burdened by the rulings of those who would: 1) ignore our clear Judeo-Christian historic record, and 2) further alienate people who wish to exercise their religious freedoms without government intrusion.