It is very well put together and lot of food for thought
The Supreme Court and Our Religious Freedom MP3 Downloads
- Rome's Influence on the Supreme Court
- Transformation from a Lamb to a Dragon
- Will the Supreme Court Protect Our Religious Liberty?
Note: The single DVD in this series has all three presentations.
David Larsen, Esq. was a Member of the US Supreme Court Bar. First off, he shares a few interesting and enlightening facts about Pope Pius VI, the pope who was captured by Napoleon's general in 1798, thus prophetically striking a "deadly wound" to the papacy from which she is trying to recover from, and how he is regarded by the Catholic church today. Then he displays charts portraying how the Supreme Court, starting in 1789, was composed of all Protestants. It took a hundred years before the first Roman Catholic justice was elected. Over the next decades a few Catholics were scattered here and there on it. But, in very recent years, for the first time in US history, the Supreme Court has had no Protestants on it at all, and, at the time of this recording in 2012, it was composed of six Catholics and three Jews. While this country rightly does not make religious affiliation a test for holding a political office, yet, does it matter at all which belief systems Supreme Court justices hold to and does it affect their decisions? Does Rome have any influence on the Supreme Court today? Attorney Larsen discusses a few disturbing things that have been creeping into Court practices. He describes how a Red Mass is held and dedicated to jurists and lawyers each year right before new Supreme Court sessions and that its speeches often try to influence Supreme Court judges, which goes against the Constitution. He talks about Thomas Jefferson's belief about our Constitution and its wall of separation between church and state put therein to protect all religious beliefs. Yet, in somewhat recent years, Chief Justice William Rehnquist said that wall that Jefferson spoke of is a metaphor based on bad history and is a useless guide in judging. In 1867, the US made a law prohibiting the establishment of ties with any church, yet President Reagan repealed that law and in 1984 appointed the first US ambassador to the Vatican. It is interesting to notice how common law historical traditions that we have subscribed to in the past are being replaced in some cases by a Roman style of law, which says you are guilty until proven innocent, that you have no right to silence and that you are judged by judges instead of a jury of peers. While there have been good Roman Catholic politicians, such as President John F. Kennedy, who have made it clear that they fully uphold the Constitution and do not accept any instructions on public policy from the Pope and who staunchly uphold religious freedoms for all faiths, yet we know from prophecy that "Protestants have tampered with and patronized popery; they have made compromises and concessions which papists themselves are surprised to see and fail to understand. Men are closing their eyes to the real character of Romanism and the dangers to be apprehended from her supremacy. The people need to be aroused to resist the advances of this most dangerous foe to civil and religious liberty" (GC 566).
"Among the Christian exiles who first fled to America and sought an asylum from royal oppression and priestly intolerance were many who determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. Their views found place in the Declaration of Independence, which sets forth the great truth that 'all men are created equal' and endowed with the inalienable right to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' And the Constitution guarantees to the people the right of self-government, providing that representatives elected by the popular vote shall enact and administer the laws. Freedom of religious faith was also granted, every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity" (GC 441). But Revelation 13:11 prophecies that the USA will someday speak like a dragon instead of a gentle non-tyrannical lamb. Attorney Larsen shares some recent evidence of this transformation that is taking place in America. He discusses the pivotal 1933 ruling by President Roosevelt, which declared a state of national emergency during the Great Depression to curb the banking crisis. This caused tremendous power to flow from the states to the federal government. This state of national emergency has never been rescinded and has been called upon every so often in crisis situations. He also discusses: the increasing transfer of power, since 1938, from state to federal courts and the warning of the Church Committee in the 1970's against these things; the Foreign Intelligent Security Act of 1978, which is now lacking teeth and being circumvented; the constitutional problems of the Patriot Act and the underhanded measures used to sneak it through; Extraordinary Rendition and the use of waterboarding and other such "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" of torture, which go against the Geneva Convention and deprive people of the rights of due process and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment; the exemptions made to the Bill of Rights by various laws and the Office of Homeland Security. Especially since the Patriot Act, and its National Security Letters and Sneak and Peek provisions, privacy, even for regular law-abiding Americans, is becoming harder and harder to have, with so many laws passed that give government agencies license to secretly survey and to search almost everything in our lives, even without a court order. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 allows the military to detain citizens indefinitely without a trial. A secret panel now can ask the President to kill or capture certain Americans if deemed a threat. If the president and military can detain anyone suspicious, who can bring forward their case to court if they disappear and what implications does that have in the time of the end? The legal framework is in place that can quickly bring in the nightmare predicted in Revelation 13. All it takes is a huge national disaster, an economic implosion, a massive terrorist strike, or other catalyst for a declared state of emergency and we could transform overnight into a whole new system. Our lamblike qualities, enshrined in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, are the strength and blessing of this nation. Torture, rendition, "Sneak and Peek", no need for search warrants, all-encompassing surveillance, indefinite detention--these are all qualities of the dragon and hearken back to the Dark Ages. Benjamin Franklin said that those who give up some essential liberty to secure a little safety deserve neither. "When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near" (5T 451).
Some Seventh-day Adventists are saying today that we are wrong in our interpretation of Revelation 13:15-17 and that after 170 years of preaching that a National Sunday Law was coming to America, and through them to the world, that we went too far and should apologize about being wrong. Are they right or are they frighteningly blind to the urgency of signs all around us? What are the chances that there could ever be a National Sunday Law in secularized America? In this closing presentation, Attorney Larsen shares how he sees several ominous rain clouds that foreshadow the coming storm of religious persecution. He first talks about Sunday closing laws that were passed in Germany and Croatia during 2010 and numerous calls by trade unions and other entities in America calling for Sunday laws in 2008, in connection with the economic downturn. These things illustrate that the call for Sunday laws will most likely first be light and under a positive pretext of them being a benefit to everyone's health, rest, and safety in society and not as a religious legislation against any particular group. The penalties will probably be very light at first, but a national disaster could trigger a much more stringent ruling and harsher punishment. If a Sunday Law is passed by Congress and signed by the President would the Supreme Court uphold it? Attorney Larsen explains the various duties of the three branches of the American government and how they work together with various checks and balances on each other to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful. The President appoints Supreme Court justices, who then stay on the Court without fear of not being re-elected. He can also veto laws made by the legislature, recommend legislation and appeal to the people concerning legislation. The Supreme Court decides whether laws made by the legislature or any executive actions are constitutional. This shows the power of the President and the Supreme Court to greatly influence various shifts in thinking and action. He then examines some important case laws related to religious liberty which give an indication of how the Supreme Court might rule if a National Sunday Law was promoted by the other branches. A foundational case happened in 1963 which concerned a Seventh-day Adventist who couldn't get unemployment because of her beliefs. The decision of the Court came to be known as the Sherbert Test. It has four criteria which were used for years to determine if a person's religious rights have been violated by the government. It has been a boon to religious liberty and a very important case for our church. He also examines a case in 1990 in which two Native Americans claimed the right to use peyote in a religious ceremony without being fired from their jobs at the State of Oregon. At this time, there were more Catholics on the Supreme Court and they weakened the provisions of the Sherbert Test in their ruling. This was a shift away from the Court's previous thinking that government must show a compelling interest before restricting religious rights. Justice Scalia, who is a Jesuit, said that if a generally applicable law in society, not aimed specifically at a person's religious convictions, happens to substantially burden their free exercise, the state does not have to meet the Sherbert compelling interest test. Under this Smith Decision, a Sunday Law could easily be upheld if it was passed first as a benefit to society's health and prosperity and not against any specific religious group. Attorney Larsen discusses the very telling minority opinions in this case of Justices o' Connor and Blackman, who felt that this was a law that went against the essential element of constitutional liberty for all religious minorities. He shows how, in 1993, Congress tried to restore the Sherbert Test by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and what happened when they did. He also discusses several important recent politicians who have converted to Catholicism and how it is on an ascendancy in government circles. It is of interest that, at the time of this recording, 30% of our legislative branch members were composed of Roman Catholics, followed by 12% being Baptists. Attorney Larsen ends by noting several recent highly questionable and costly things that Homeland Security has been doing. Things have been created and are being created in our government that very rapidly could cause constitutional problems in this nation when the right trigger is pulled that unleashes the gathering storm of forces against freedom of religious liberty.