Friday, April 4, 2008

New York Supreme Court, 1811 - Ties Christianity with Civil Government

The NY case of People vs. Ruggles was about a man tried and convicted for publicly saying:

"Jesus Christ was a bas- - - -"

and also that his mother must be a w----" He was sentenced to 3 months in jail and fined $500. Think what that amount was worth in 1811 dollars. This case affirmed the original judgment after the case was appealed.

James Kent, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, rendered this opinion in the case:

"...Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government... (such offenses are) punishable at common law... The people of this state, in common with the people of this country, profess the general doctrines of Christianity, as the rule of their faith and practice, and to scandalize the author of these doctrines is not only ... impious, but ... is a gross violation of decency and good order....We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of those [other religions]...

Though the Constitution has discarded religious establishments, it does not forbid judicial cognizance of those offenses against religion and morality which have no reference to any such establishment.

The [Constitutional] declaration... never meant to withdraw religion... from all consideration and notice of the law. To construe it as breaking down the common law barriers against licentious, wanton, and impious attacks upon Christianity itself would be an enormous perversion of its meaning... Christianity in its enlarged sense, as a religion revealed and taught in the Bible, is part and parcel of the law of the land.... judgment affirmed"

No comments: