Judge Jones' "true religion" missing from Supreme Court precedents
. . . this much is very clear. The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry. At bottom then, this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state. (emphasis added)
However, in establishment clause histories given in two Supreme Court decisions, Everson v. Board of Education (1947) and Engel v. Vitale (1962), Jones' above "true religion" is not mentioned at all, not even as a contributing factor. Everson does mention "true religion," but it is not the kind of "true religion" that Judge Jones described above -- Everson says (page 12) that Madison "eloquently argued that a true religion did not need the support of law."
The hypocritical Judge Jones ignored Supreme Court precedent himself while falsely accusing his critics of ignoring Supreme Court precedent. In a speech at Bennington College, Jones said about media criticisms of his decision,
What all of them had in common -- all of these criticisms -- was that they omitted to note the role of precedent, how judges work, the Rule of Law. Trial judges carefully find the facts in a case and apply existing precedent as handed down by higher courts -- most notably, in this case, the Supreme Court of the United States. There was simply no attempt [in these media criticisms] to illuminate those issues or educate the public . . . .
To hear these critics tell it, we live in a world where judges make essentially ad hoc determinations. This is really a false world that they tend to propagate, where judges rule according to personal bias, particular whims or political philosophies, or in order to please political benefactors -- or, worse perhaps, respond to the perceived public will at any given time. . . . And that gets into a still larger issue that I think is of somewhat crisis proportions, which I call a crisis in judicial independence. Many judges across the country feel exceedingly threatened by a public, a punditry, and a political establishment that tends to launch ad hominem attacks against individual judges when they disagree with them.