Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Supreme Court to consider religious monuments in public parks

Miami Herald

All right, let me get this straight: some religious group that no one's ever heard of wants to put up a religious monument on a public park that's basically their version of the ten commandments called the Seven Aphorisms (which I managed to look up and now I regret doing so because it's just a whole lot of crazy). Okay, if this isn't an infringement of separation of church and state I don't know what is.

Yet, and this is the best part - their lawyer is trying to defend this drek as "free speech" in front of the Supreme Court. That's like trying to fake your own death at Scotland Yard.
"The most basic of First Amendment rules is that in a traditional public forum like a public park, a city may not discriminate among speakers based on the content of their speech or the identity of the speaker," Dellinger argued.
No, what you're doing is not free speech, it's establishment. You can say whatever you want. You can carry around signs proclaiming your beliefs. But you can't just plop down religious monuments on public land without raising some serious church/state issues.

The Bush administration sides with Pleasant Grove City. If the court orders the city to allow Summum's display, Solicitor General Gregory Garre argued, the federal government could be compelled to allow discordant private displays at numerous national parks and historic sites, including, potentially, the Statue of Liberty.

Even the Bush people know this is a stinker and are arguing that the Supreme Court rule against this religious group, pointing out that ruling in their favor may mean opening up all our public parks and historical sites as free advertising space for every cult and fringe group in the country.

Here's an idea: how about we just have normal, clean parks without any religious garbage cluttering them up - no Ten Commandments, no Seven Aphorisms or anything of that nature. Wouldn't that be a heck of a lot better than turning them into ideological bulletin boards?

Further reading: Pew Forum

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