Listening to the oral arguments before the Second Circuit last Monday afternoon was an experience in conflicting emotions. In the first half, the three judge panel seemed to criticize the DOE’s arguments at every level, eliciting a heart-felt delight that they seemed to be getting it right. However, the second half erased all jubilation and produced a sense of dread as two of the judges leveled their front-loaded verbal cannons at Jordan Lorence, our counsel from ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom).
Judge Calabresi, in particular, seemed determined to filibuster the time allotted to Jordan by his constant interruption of his attempted answers. The judge would finish his question-statement, and before Jordan could complete a sentence he would interject another statement-question. This tactic consumed more than half of Jordan’s time and seemed designed to prevent Jordan’s erudition and persuasive, rational arguments from influencing Judge Leval, the swing vote on the panel of three. Judge Walker again displayed a reasoned, even-handed approach to the issue and gave Jordan some respite from Judge Calabresi’s barrage.
The consensus from the three ADF lawyers present was that the decision is probably going to go against BHOF. We were disappointed but not surprised. There is more going on than just the professed fear that Christianity would somehow be perceived as the favored religion if allowed to continue worshiping in schools.
Underneath all the arguments, there is a real fear that fuels this effort, although probably not identified by our detractors: fear of the real God. The heart of man has a memory of the God Adam knew; it’s stamped into the DNA of our humanity, a faint trace of what our first ancestor experienced in the presence of his Creator. If this fear is to remain dormant, every effort must be made to silence those who have faced that fear and now promote His worship.