A Review of Betrayed by the Bench
By Esther Frederick
Communication: Public Relations Major
Reviewed February 27, 2017
Betrayed by the Bench discusses how the judiciary branch of our government has changed our law, culture, and understanding and application of the Constitution. More specifically, federally-appointed judges and the Supreme Court have transitioned from following the biblically-based common law of Old England and William Blackstone’s Commentaries, to following the court's’ own legal precedents and other nations’ laws.
John Stormer makes four main points which are: how the Declaration of Independence makes the Constitution effective, the moral and theological foundation the Bible provides for America’s establishing documents, the ideological history of social jurisprudence, the misuse of the Constitution to enact bad laws, and how to restore a proper understanding and application of our founding documents. The perspective of this book is from a very conservative veteran who has been involved with various levels of government and believes America has slidden downhill. The purpose is to educate others, on how America’s judiciary has strayed, and what must be done to (a) stop judicial activism and (b) recover the moral character of America.
The primary freedom promoted by this book is religious freedom, which the book argues is hampered by the power of the judiciary branch. I was already in general agreement with the author on this topic when I picked this book, but I enjoyed the thorough explanation of the concepts and decisions that led to judicial activism, and why it is unhealthy.
Noteworthy was the theological underpinnings of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Stormer gave evidence that God is the source of the same fundamental rights of every human, and that these rights should be used appropriately, in accordance with God’s principles. The author also argued that the Constitution protects these God-given rights from government interference; otherwise, the Constitution has no intrinsic value. This argument was quite eye-opening and persuasive to me, although some uses of Scripture by Stromer seemed out of context.
When Stormer explored Hegel's social ethics and Darwin’s evolution as the base for secular humanism I also began to see how widespread these philosophies are in today’s culture. Public schools, universities, and law schools are wrongly training students that truth changes with the times and that God has no place in civic involvement, which in turn has adverse effects on other parts of society. One of the most shocking facts to me was how the twisted Kinsey “studies” were used to promote a sexual revolution and laws that were clearly anti-God. Stormer also discussed the ACLU’s mission to take God out of the public view, the abuse of the 14th Amendment, and an example of standing up against wrong principles, among other related topics.
Overall, this book was persuasive and helpful for showing me the godly foundations America is built on, and how decades of humanism and turning away from God have negatively affected us. Sometimes the conclusions Stormer draws are a stretch, but I think this eye-opening and sobering read would be good for any reader who loves the traditional, biblical morality of America.