November 22, 2004
Giving the Law a Religious Perspective

LYNCHBURG, Va., Nov. 17 - The class in civil procedure, at the new Liberty School of Law here, began with a prayer.

"The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul," said Prof. Jeffrey C. Tuomala, quoting Psalm 19. "The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple."
But decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Professor Tuomala went on, are not always trustworthy. "Something that is contrary to the law of nature," he said, "cannot be law."

In Professor Tuomala's civil procedure class, the topic on Wednesday morning was a law school warhorse: the Supreme Court's 1938 decision in Erie v. Tompkins […] In ruling that federal courts may not apply general principles in some cases but must follow state laws, he said, the Supreme Court denied the possibility of "a law that's fixed, that's uniform, that applies to everybody, everyplace, for all time."

Other school are hopping aboard the faith-based instructional bandwagon.  Great Awakenings University in Vermont has announced the institution of a new faith-based program in physics.  “We find that Godless thinking is pervading modern physics,” said Professor Jaundice L. Frangible.  “This Einstein fellow says that the speed of light is the same under every circumstance.  We like that.  Laws should be unvarying and inflexible.  But they people start talking about ‘frames of reference,’ or they say that some things like the exact position and momentum of a particle are unknowable or even indeterminate … well, that’s just crazy talk.  Everything is knowable and fixed if you read the Bible hard enough.  We intend to teach Physics the way God meant it to be taught.  Without any of these crackpot ‘uncertainty’ principles.”

A similar program is underway at Hallelujah University in Manitoba, where the mathematics department has officially banned references to infinity, imaginary numbers, and undecidable problems.  “Can you imagine,” asked one faculty member, “saying some problems cannot be solved?  Why, that’s just flat out denying the omnipotence of the Lord, and we’ll have no truck with that.”  The department, which focuses mainly on addition and subtraction, does have an honors seminar in Long Division.

The movement has not been an unalloyed success.  The school of Christian Civil Engineering at Snake Handler University had to close last month after a bridge built by their first graduate collapsed within hours of opening, and it was determined that the designer had substituted “fervent prayer” for “rebar” in the design and that the hoped-for miraculous conversion of paper-mache into concrete in the abutment never came to pass.

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