2004 Speech by Senator Zell Miller on the floor of
THE DEFICIT OF DECENCY
Mr. MILLER. The Old Testament prophet, Amos, was a sheep herder who
lived back in the Judean hills, away from the larger cities of Bethlehem
and Jerusalem. Compared to the intellectual urbanites like Isaiah and
Jeremiah, Amos was just an unsophisticated country hick. But Amos had a
unique grasp of political and social issues, and his poetic literary
skill was among the best of all the prophets.
That familiar quote of Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Justice will rush down like waters and righteousness like a mighty
stream. . . .
Those are Amos's words.
Amos was the first to propose the concept of a universal God and not
just some tribal deity. He also wrote that God demanded moral purity,
not rituals and sacrifices.
This blunt-speaking moral conscience of his time warns, in Chapter 8,
verse 11 of the Book of Amos, as if he were speaking to us today:
The days will come, sayeth the Lord God, that I will send a famine in
the land. Not a famine of bread or of thirst for water, but of hearing
the word of the Lord.
And they shall wander from sea to sea and from the north even to the
east. They shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall
not find it.
``A famine in the land,'' has anyone more accurately described the
situation we face in America today? A famine of ``hearing the word of
the Lord.'' Some will say Amos was just an Old Testament prophet who
lived 700 years before Christ.
That is true. So how about one of the most influential historians of
modern times, Arnold Toynbee, who wrote the acclaimed 12-volume ``A
Study of History.'' He once declared:
Of the 22 civilizations that have appeared in history, 19 of them have
collapsed when they reached the moral state America is in today.
Toynbee died in 1975, before seeing the worst that was yet to come. Yes,
Arnold Toynbee saw the famine, ``the famine of hearing the word of the
Lord,'' whether it is removing a display of the Ten Commandments from a
courthouse or of a nativity scene from a city square, whether it is
eliminating prayer in the city schools or eliminating ``under God'' in
the Pledge of Allegiance, whether it is making a mockery of the sacred
institution of marriage between a man and a woman, or, yes, telecasting
around the world made-in-the-USA filth masquerading as entertainment.
The culture of far left America was displayed in a startling way during
the Super Bowl's now infamous half-time show, a show brought to us on
behalf of the Value-Les Moonves and the pagan temple of Viacom-Babylon.
I asked the question yesterday: How many of you have ever run over a
skunk with your car? I know the President has, somewhere over there
around Frog Hollow. I have, many times. I can tell you that the stink
stays around for a long time. You can take the car through a carwash and
it is still there. So the scent of this event will long linger in the
nostrils of America.
I am not talking just about an exposed mammary gland with a pull-tab
attached to it. Really, no one should have been too surprised with that.
Wouldn't you expect a bumping, humping, trashy routine entitled ``I'm
Going To Get You Naked'' to end that way?
Does any responsible adult ever listen to the words of this rap-crap? I
would quote you some of it, but the Sergeant at Arms would throw me out
of this Chamber, as well he should.
Then there was that prancing, dancing, strutting, rutting guy, evidently
suffering from jock itch because he kept yelling and grabbing his
crotch. But, then, maybe there is a culture of crotch grabbing in this
country I don't know about. But as bad as all that was, the thing that
yanked my chain the hardest was seeing this ignoramus with his pointed
head stuck up through a hole he had cut in the flag of the United States
of America, screaming about having ``a bottle of scotch and watching
lots of crotch.''
Think about that. This is the same flag to which we pledge allegiance.
This is the same flag that is draped over coffins of dead young
uniformed warriors, killed while protecting Kid Crock's boney butt. He
should be tarred and feathered and ridden out of this country on a rail.
You talk about a good reality show? That would be one.
The desire and will of this Congress to meaningfully do anything about
any of these so-called social issues is nonexistent and embarrassingly
disgraceful. The American people are waiting and growing impatient with
us. They want something done.
I am pleased to be a cosponsor of S.J. Res. 26, along with Senator
Allard and others, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the
United States relating to marriage; and S. 1558, the Liberties
Restoration Act, which declares religious liberty rights in several
ways, including the Pledge of Allegiance and the display of the Ten
Today, I join Senator Shelby and others with the Constitution
Restoration Act of 2004 that limits the jurisdiction of Federal courts
in certain ways.
In doing so, I stand shoulder to shoulder, not only with my Senate
cosponsors and Chief Justice Roy Moore of Alabama, but more importantly
with our Founding Fathers in the conception of religious liberty and the
terribly wrong direction our modern judiciary has taken us.
Everyone today seems to think the U.S. Constitution expressly provides
for separation of church and state. I guess you could ask any 10 people
if that is not so and I will bet you most of them will say, well, sure
that is so. And some would point out that is in the First Amendment.
Wrong. Read it. It says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Where is the word ``separate''? Where are the words ``church'' and
``state''? They are not there; never have been, never intended to be.
Read the Congressional Record during the 4-month period in 1789 when the
amendment was being framed in Congress. Clearly their intent was to
prohibit a single denomination in exclusion of all others, whether it
was anglican or Catholic or some other.
I highly recommend a great book entitled Original Intent by David
It really gets into how the actual Members of Congress, who drafted the
First Amendment, expected basic Biblical principles and values to be
present throughout public life and society, not separate from it.
It was Alexander Hamilton who pointed out that ``judges should be bound
down by strict rules and precedents, which serve to define and point out
``Bound down.'' That is exactly what is needed to be done. There was not
a single precedent cited when school prayer was struck down in 1962.
These judges who legislate instead of adjudicate do it without being
responsible to one single solitary voter for their actions.
Among the signers of the Declaration of Independence was a brilliant
young physician from Pennsylvania named Benjamin Rush.
When Rush was elected to that First Continental Congress, his close
friend Benjamin Franklin told him ``We need you ..... we have a great
task before us, assigned to us by Providence.''
Today, 228 years later there is still a great task before us assigned to
us by Providence. Our Founding Fathers did not shirk their duty and we
can do no less.
By the way, Benjamin Rush was once asked a question that has long
interested this Senator from Georgia in particular. Dr. Rush was asked,
Are you a democrat or an aristocrat? And the good doctor answered, ``I
am neither''. ``I am a Christocrat. I believe He, alone, who created and
redeemed man is qualified to govern him.''
That reply of Benjamin Rush is just as true today in the year of our
Lord 2004 as it was in the year of our Lord 1776.
So, if I am asked why--with all the pressing problems this Nation faces
today--why am I pushing these social issues and taking the Senate's
valuable time, I will answer: Because, it is of the highest importance.
Yes, there is a deficit to be concerned about in this country, a deficit
So, as the sand empties through my hourglass at warp speed--and with my
time running out in this Senate and on this Earth--I feel compelled to
speak out for I truly believe that at times like this, silence is not
golden. It is yellow.
Thank you, Mr. President.