Dissolve into Evergreens
Over the Top
Playing in the Dirt
Give Me Better Options, Please!
Tab A Slot B
The Flaming Lips
The New Radicals
Death Cab for Cutie
Badly Drawn Boy
Coheed and Cambria
Atom Site Feed
CNN.com - High court split on Ten Commandments - Jun 27, 2005:
"O'Connor asked, 'If legislatures open their sessions, that the public can attend, with a prayer, why can't it allow monuments?'
This is backwards. The real question is not, why can't we extend the use of religious prayers, images and symbolism in government, but why did we allow religion there in the first place? Its a bit like arguing that once one animal escapes from the zoo, why can't we let all the animals go free. We've been lax in enforcing the law, but that does not condone further negligence.
She's either playing devil's advocate, or asking a really stupid question.
In the Kentucky cases, two Kentucky counties tried to justify separately posting copies of the King James version of the Ten Commandments on the walls of their courthouses.
By why at a courthouse? Why in public? These people can post religious images in their homes or on bumper stickers, just not on government property where they will project the image of religious preference towards followers of the Judeo-Christian faiths.
These were privately donated displays of 11 frames of historical documents and symbols that they said helped form the basis of American law and government, including the Declaration of Independence. All but the Ten Commandments were secular in nature.
I think this case is flimsy at best, considering the law codes that pre-date the Ten Commandments. I doubt that these people wanting to post the Ten Commnadments would be satisfied with a non-Biblical display of ancient laws. This, and the very simple fact that despite claims that our laws were inspired by Biblical teachings, we don't use the Ten Commandments as law here in the United States.
Displaying religious symbols on public government property only serves one legitimate purpose; to impose a religious standard on citizenship, as a way of saying that we are a government "by and for one religious belief".
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said then that 'these are not simple messages, like 'In God We Trust,' ' on U.S. currency, she said. 'The Ten Commandments are a powerful statement of the covenant God made with his people.'"
In Indonesia last January the Mayor of a suburb of Jakarta tried to impose Muslim dress codes on all public employees saying that "Muslim dress reflects the municipality’s devout image.”
Even if Indonesia is a secular state and Islam is only one of five officially-recognized religions, in recent years some local councils have started imposing Islamic dress and behavior codes to increase their image and popularity..
Familiar story, different country, different religion.
The best path is clear in this instance, we shouldn't allow government display of any religious symbols but at the same time we should be vigorous in defending an individual's right to express his own religious preference. Just because we've allowed things to go on under the radar for years due to a lack of political fortitude, does not mean we should continue to turn a blind eye.
"... The determinative factor here, however, is that 40 years passed in which the monument's presence, legally speaking, went unchallenged. And the public visiting the capitol grounds is more likely to have considered the religious aspect of the tablets' message as part of what is a broader moral and historical message reflective of a cultural heritage."
Cop out. My only fear is that should he retire, we might end up with a real hack (Scalia) as Chief Justice.
Scalia cited "the interest of the overwhelming majority of religious believers in being able to give God thanks and supplication as a people, and with respect to our national endeavors."
Comments: Post a Comment
Dissolve into Evergreens