The Supreme Court's Big Secret
One significant milestone totally unnoticed by the Washington establishment this year was the 100th anniversary of the Harlan Bible. Don't feel bad if you've never heard of it. The Harlan Bible is a well-kept secret to virtually all but the 50-plus U.S. Supreme Court justices who have signed their names to its flyleaf since 1906, nearly half of all justices who have ever served.Imagine that. Every Supreme Court justice since 1906 has signed his or her -- especially as in Ruth Bader Ginsberg "her" -- name on the flyleaf of a King James "S.S. Teachers Edition" bible bequeathed to the Court by Justice John Marshall Harlan.
The Harlan bible that is placed before every incoming Justice is not there as a mere book, but as someting else entirely in the eyes of James Marshall Harlan:
I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Nothing which it commands can be safely or properly disregarded -- nothing it condemns can be justified. No civilization is worth preserving whihc is not based onthe doctrines or teachings of the Bible.Harlan's love of the Word made him a man of deep convictions that was not afraid to stand up for what he believed:
Though from a wealthy Kentucky slave-holding family, Harlan joined both the Union Army during the Civil War and later the party that championed abolition of slavery, the Republicans. He was the lone dissenting vote in the famous 1896 case Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld Southern segregation statutes that allowed “separate but equal” facilities for blacks and whites. In that case Harlan penned the famous words in his dissenting opinion, “Our Constitution is color-blind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.”Liberal secularlists who today decry religion as a breeding ground for intolerance would do well to study their history. It was believers, not secularlists, who started the fight against slavery, not because it felt good, but because "Jesus told me so." Meanwhile, eugenics was popular among many of the Darwinists , who thought it would be quite beneficial to jsut get rid of the blacks.
Apparently even the secularists on the Supreme Court know that separation of church and state is neither absolute nor constitutional, because they take pen in hand and sign the Harlan Bible.
Related Tags: Supreme Court, Separation of church and state, Christianity, Secularism, Religion