Congressman Allen West, everyone's favorite defender of the Constitution, has joined the citizens advisory board of the Thomas More Law Center, a conservative legal organization that has spent more than a decade trying its best to roll back a rather important section of the Bill of Rights.
The Michigan-based firm says its goal is "to restore and defend America's Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values," and it has been involved in (or actively sought) some of the most controversial cases involving the side-stepping of the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
While the center has been involved in quieter cases (it fought to have nativity scenes installed next to public menorahs in Palm Beach in 2003), it's also been party to some of the highest-profile attempts to install Christian beliefs and symbols into government and public education.
It stood behind Alabama Judge Roy Moore when he spent the better part of a decade fighting to keep the Ten Commandments in his courthouses, first in Alabama circuit court and later in the Alabama Supreme Court. In 2001, he had a Ten Commandment monument weighing more than 5,000 pounds installed in the Supreme Court building, saying, according to court documents, that it displayed "the moral foundation of law" and reminded courtgoers of "the sovereignty of God over the affairs of men."
A federal judge ruled that the monument had to be removed, a judgment affirmed on appeal. Moore said he would defy the order. The other eight justices disagreed and had it taken out.
After Moore was removed from office for behavior that "undercuts the entire workings of the judicial system," the Thomas More Law Center issued a statement saying it "applauds Justice Roy Moore as a man of conscience and courage," and its president called the disgraced flouter of the courts and the Constitution "a profile in courage."
Now, West is part of the club.
You might also recognize the law center from its failed attempt to shoehorn "intelligent design" into science classrooms in 2005 -- its lawyers shopped around for a school district to test the practice and eventually got a Delaware school board to approve a measure requiring that intelligent design be taught alongside evolution, even though evolution is a thoroughly researched and documented natural occurrence and intelligent design is a made-up, unscientific bastardization of religious teachings rejected even by the Catholic Church.
Anyway, the law center (and the patsy school district) lost the case. Bad.
"To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect," federal Judge John E. Jones wrote in his decision. "However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions."
But it's not about science for the Thomas More Law Center. It's not really even about law -- it's about pushing Christianity because, like it says on its website, "the Christian values upon which this Nation was founded are under attack."
Whatever the reasons, law center President Richard Thompson said in a news release that West "symbolizes everything the Law Center strives to be." Oh, good.
West is quoted in the release too:
"I know that the Thomas More Law Center is aggressively advancing in courtrooms throughout America the same principles I fought for as a soldier for 22 years, and what I'm fighting for now as a congressman," he said, adding warnings about "stealth jihad" saying that "I support their mission and I am honored to serve on their advisory board."
To review: When Muslims wage "stealth jihad" and try to impose their oppressive beliefs on America, that's a horrific invasion set to destroy a nation. But when a bunch of Christians wearing ties decide to impose their religion on our country, that's a great reason to run a chunk of the Bill of Rights through a woodchipper, a reason inspiring enough to actually join the Christians in ties. Good to know, congressman.