Home 7 Mountains of CultureFaith Mountain Discover the Story Behind the Story of Separation of Church and State and the Role a Member of the KKK Supreme Court Justice, Hugo Black, Played in it

Discover the Story Behind the Story of Separation of Church and State and the Role a Member of the KKK Supreme Court Justice, Hugo Black, Played in it


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LISTEN NOW! A father who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan was very open about his hatred towards Catholics, and others who were not his ethnicity. On one particular day, he found out that his daughter had just been married. The man to deliver the news was a Catholic priest; who performed the wedding. The groom the daughter was just married to: Pedro Guzman was a Hispanic man. The father was seething with anger. His response? He pulled out a gun and shot the priest dead.

When this man, who was a Ku Klux Klan member, was brought before a jury, one would think that it would be an open and shut case. Guilty as charged. What was not known was that the judge was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and the members of the jury were Klansman. An attorney, Hugo Black, was brought in to defend the Klansman father. His delivery presented the facts of the case as “an honor killing”. When the jury departed for their decision, two hours had passed. The courtroom erupted in applause when the jury pronounced “not guilty”.  The father went free. 

Two years later, after defending the Klansman, Hugo Black himself, became a member of the Ku Klux Klan. In a situation of struggle and tension, then President Franklin D. Roosevelt was trying to make decisions that were unconstitutional by the judicial branch, the Supreme Court. Because of these events, FDR asked Hugo Black, a Klansman, to become one of the 9 Supreme Court justices. When the case Everson v. Board of Educationwas being presented, Black understood that if he voted with the majority, he would be able to write the final remarks of the decision. The very words of description that Black used were so ambivalent, that it blew apart the reality of the 1st Amendment, causing the struggle with its implications that we are still facing today.

We know people, not by what they tell us, but by the fruit of their lives. Every time the church tries to get involved with the government, it does not end well. When the reality of burning crosses are put in yards of others, done in the name of Christ; it is the Church’s duty to stand up and say, ‘that’s not God’, ‘that’s not right’. If we, as the Church, believe that God is for justice, we can cry out for justice, for these wrongs to be righted at the foot of the Cross. Hear the full details of these events, how we got to where we are today, what the implications are, how the Church must respond in order to move forward, and so much more. Also shared in this segment: Ku Klux Klan, KKK, Senator Strom Thurman, Franklin D Roosevelt, justice, injustice, Supreme Court, racism, the Constitution, First Amendment, Emmett Till, Court Martial, and repentance. Greg and John shared in this segment.



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