Thursday, February 26, 2009

Supreme Court turns down religious monument

USA Today

No, not *that* monument - they didn't get infringe on our nation's obsession with plopping down Ten Commandments monuments all over public land as if some public park would spontaneously turn over to heathenism if left to its own devises. They denied some cult no one's ever heard of the ability to dump their Seven Aphorisms (their version of the Ten Commandments) on a public park.

I talked about it before the ruling over here.

This was a good call. Indeed, it was the only reasonable call they could have possibly made. Even the wingnuts didn't want the cult to win because they don't want other religions to get their feet in the door for the church-state entanglement they so desperately desire. So, to both secularists and theocrats alike, there's no earthly reason why public parks should be used as some sort of ideological bulletin board for religious groups. Besides, there's already a place where religious clutter truly belongs - churches.

But I'm a little miffed that they didn't even bother to look at having a religious monument on public land as a separation of church and state issue, instead looking at it as a free speech issue. In fact, in their ruling, they consider the Ten Commandments monument as government speech. "I am the Lord thy God", "have no other gods before me" - that's government speech and it's not a separation of church and state issue?! Seriously, how much more obvious could it possibly be? Thankfully, in their separate opinions, the justices did acknowledge this.

So by what logic did they rule that the Seven Aphorisms cannot be displayed but the Ten Commandments are good to go? Well, it's because monuments can only be relevant to "city history or from groups with long-standing community ties".

See? History not hate government endorsement of a particular religion. The Confederate Flag strategy. Good luck with that.

Even though the Supreme Court ducked the issue this time around, it's only a matter of time before it comes up again. And when it does, I rather doubt that theocratic Christians will be the victors; there's no viable secular rationale for putting up religious monuments on public land. And it's just dishonest to even try to peddle it that way.

The way I see it, it's one down and one to go.

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