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2004 Speech by Senator Zell Miller on the floor of the Senate


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 Commandments .

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 Barton.

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 their duty.''

``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 of decency.

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. 

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