Friday, October 2, 2015

Read the 1st Chapter of Joseph Max Lewis' "Separation of Church and State" RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

Tim Lewis is an up and coming young journalist, a protégé of powerful news executive Anthony Merkel and guest host of the award winning program, Law for Lunch. When Lewis unwittingly records one of Merkel’s private conversations, he discovers his boss is a secret member of the murderous Society for Human Enlightenment and party to a plot to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Kahn. Kahn’s elimination is planned as a prelude to the kind of slaughter not seen since the holocaust.
Lewis is discovered, but saves the recording and runs, pursued by the relentless Alan Williams and several of the Society’s feared operational security teams. The Fellowship of the Essentials mobilizes Team Leader Ted Kehr and such men as they have, but Lewis trusts no one. In the end, Lewis is the only one standing between the Society and genocide. His only hope is to return to the woman he loves, but knows betrayed him years ago.

Chapter 1

“If what you say is true, American elections are a hoax,” Cardinal Thomas Guzetti said. “Why bother to vote? Congress and the Presidency? Nothing more than advisory boards, a pretty facade to placate the citizenry.”
The hot glare of stage lights chased away every shadow and illuminated the handsome face of guest moderator Tim Lewis. Tim tried to decide if he should interrupt Guzetti. He wanted to be fair, but knew his own performance had to be perfect. New York City’s flu epidemic had knocked out the regular host of Real Reliable News’ Network’s award winning “Law for Lunch” public affairs broadcast, giving Tim, fresh out of journalism school, an opportunity most of his peers would literally kill for. Before Tim decided, Guzetti’s debate opponent intervened.
Harvard Law Professor Morris Liebowitz faced the camera with a dismissive smile before responding. “I’ve come to expect that kind of fear mongering from the Christian Right, Cardinal, but you’re a Harvard educated lawyer.” Liebowitz shook his head. “We’ve always had a living constitution.”
“Cardinal Guzetti,” Tim said, “doesn’t Professor Liebowitz have a point? It does seem a bit extreme to suggest our democratic process is a sham because we have a Supreme Court.” Tim felt a twinge of guilt for “sculpting” Guzetti’s words, but it was a part of the job. The R.R.N. management and newsroom had little tolerance for Christian viewpoints. If the Cardinal didn’t lose the debate, and look out of touch while doing so, Tim’s career would suffer.
“Hardly extreme, Mr. Lewis,” Guzetti replied with a smile. With his plain black suit and Roman collar, he looked like everyone’s favorite neighborhood Priest. “It's a matter of simple logic,” Guzetti said, “not because of the Supreme Court as an institution, but because some are claiming we have a “Living Constitution.”
“Of course we have a Living Constitution,” Liebowitz said.
“Please Professor Liebowitz,” Guzetti continued, “let me make my case.”
It was the moderator’s decision and a tricky one. Guzetti wasn’t what Tim expected. He found himself liking the Cardinal and that was dangerous. Mishandling Guzetti could ruin his career. Tim decided to let Guzetti speak, trusting Liebowitz to trip him up. Few people were a match for the brilliant Harvard Law Professor. Tim could feel the sweat beading up underneath his thick TV makeup.

“As many people know,” Guzetti said, “if Congress or a State passes a law that violates the Constitution, the Court can and should declare the law null and void. It’s ‘Unconstitutional,’ we say. So let’s think this through, a ‘living’ Constitution means the Constitution changes when five Justices decide it changes, isn’t that correct Professor Liebowitz?”
“No it’s not.” Liebowitz’ bushy eyebrows quivered. “As community standards evolve, the Constitution evolves. Do you think America still allows people to be placed in stocks for petty offenses?”
“I stand corrected. The Constitution evolves when community standards change. But who decides whether our standards have changed? Not our citizens. Five Justices make that decision, don’t they? No one else gets a vote. Therefore anytime the American people want a change in the law and elect Congressmen who pass a law making the change, if five Justices don’t like it, all they have to do is say it's ‘unconstitutional’ because we’ve ‘evolved’.”
“Extremist nonsense,” Liebowitz said.
The Law Professor looked delighted, but for some reason Tim felt uneasy.
“Our country has had judicial review since its inception, since Marbury vs. Madison,” Liebowitz said. “Any two hundred year-old document, no matter how brilliantly drafted, must be interpreted in light of subsequent developments. Since the ratification of our Constitution we’ve developed automobiles, wiretaps, contraception and the internet. Surely Cardinal, even the Catholic Church has heard of these things.”
The Cardinal smiled, allowing Tim and Liebowitz a laugh at his and his Church’s expense. Tim felt better, Liebowitz looked smug.
“Of course judicial review has always existed and the Court does have the power to strike down laws,” the Cardinal said. “But only if they’re unconstitutional. That’s why judicial power must be dependent upon what’s actually written in the Constitution. Otherwise, the Court can do whatever it wants. As I said, all five Justices on the Supreme Court have to do is declare a law unconstitutional, when really they just don’t like the law and think they’re smarter than the rest of us.”
“Cardinal, really,” Liebowitz said. “As we already proved, interpretation must occur to accommodate changes in society. Where does it say ‘telephone’ in the Constitution? It doesn’t, but do we want the Government listening in on our phone calls just because telephones weren’t invented at the time of the Constitution and you Christians are paranoid?”
“Did you really prove interpretation is what’s at issue here?” The Cardinal took a moment, steepled his fingers, and then continued. “I’m afraid I’m not convinced and an old joke helps to explain why.” Guzetti looked over at Tim. “I am afraid it’s a bit risqué though.”

Tim couldn’t resist the potential for controversy. If the Cardinal actually told an off color joke on national television . . . He gestured permission to Guzetti.
“An old Priest from New York always wanted to go to Paris,” Guzetti said. “When the day finally arrived, he decided to take along an interpreter. After they landed in Paris and checked into their hotel, he told the interpreter to ask for directions to a famous cathedral. In turn, the interpreter approached a local citizen and seemed to relay the Priest’s request by interpreting it into French.”

The Amazon link for ebook or paperback of "Separation" is:

Praise for the writing of Joseph Max Lewis
The Diaries of Pontius Pilate
"Lewis has written a nail-biting thriller that jumps into action on page 1 and doesn't stop until you reach the back cover. Don't open this book unless you're sitting in a comfortable chair with good reading light, because you won't want to move." - Thom Lemmons, Christy award winning author of Jabez: A Novel, and Blameless.

Just Verdicts – Literary short stories
"Amazing! Three stories that are so real, so heart-breaking...reads like ripped from the headlines. Very good . . . The author's background sizzles and if you don't know him, you'll want to acquaint yourself promptly.” - Lisa J. Lickel, editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin, the literary magazine of Wisconsin Writers Association.

Joseph Max Lewis served as a member of an Operational Detachment in the U.S. Army's Seventh Special Forces Group, the storied Green Berets. During his service Lewis received antiterrorist training and his detachment was tasked to "Special Projects." Afterward, he served as an instructor at the Special Forces Qualification Course. Lewis attended the Pennsylvania State University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the University of Tel Aviv in Israel, and the University of Pittsburgh, receiving degrees in International Politics and Law while being certified in Middle East Studies. After living and studying abroad, first in the Middle East and then Southeast Asia, Lewis returned home to practice law. He’s a columnist in the New Bethlehem Leader-Vindicator and currently lives, writes, and practices law in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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