file under talibanization

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will be considering two cases concerning the display of the Ten Commandments in public municipal spaces. Here’s a clip from the New York Times:

One federal court upheld them as a symbol of the country’s devotion to its legal heritage. Another federal court ordered them removed as an illicit message of religious endorsement. Fifteen months ago, Alabama’s chief justice lost his job over them, and the two-ton granite monument that once sat in the rotunda of the state courthouse is now the star of a national tour. The profile of the Ten Commandments, it seems, has rarely been higher, or their ability to attract lawsuits greater.

Now, as with all great controversies in American life, this one has finally reached the Supreme Court. In two cases to be argued on Wednesday, the basic question for the justices will be: what does it mean for the government to display a copy of the Ten Commandments?

Also worth considering on the eve of this decision is the fact that the state legislators in Arkansas recently denied that there existed a wall of separation between church and state. Here’s a clip from that story:

The Arkansas House of Representatives rejected Friday a resolution that asked it to reaffirm “support of the principle of separation of church and state.” Forty-four of the 100 House members voted against House Resolution 1005 by Rep. Buddy Blair, D-Fort Smith, who said opponents were voting against the constitutions of both the United States and the state of Arkansas. Thirty-nine voted for it. The other 17 House members didn’t vote, which has the same effect as voting against it. “Too many people use their own church or their own religion as an example of how they’re going to vote on legislation,” said Blair, a Methodist, after the House defeated his resolution. “I felt like I wanted to remind them that there is a wall there.”

Social conservatives have backed several successful bills in the House in recent weeks, including a requirement that public school textbooks that define marriage say it is the union of one man and one woman and a ban on unmarried couples serving as foster parents.

A bill that would create an “In God We Trust” license plate was scheduled for debate Friday, but was not discussed.

As I’ve spoken up on behalf of the separation between church and state many times here in the past, I’m not going to go into a lot of detail now, other than to remind everyone who is of a like mind on this that we need to be extremely vigilant. We have a radical minority in our country that is aggressively pushing to tear down the well-established wall between church and state, and we can’t give them an inch. We cannot allow for them to lay the foundation for a state religion in the United States.

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  1. Teddy Glass
    Posted March 2, 2005 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Background from another article:
    “The last time the Supreme Court weighed in on the issue was when it struck down a Kentucky law requiring Ten Commandments displays in public classrooms. Since then, more than two dozen courts have ruled in conflicting ways on displays in various public contexts.”

  2. Posted March 4, 2005 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    religion is a part of life and history in every place. I have no problem with religious symbols around public property as long as it’s open to all religious symbols (especially Masonic / Islamic).

    It almost never is. This is simply an attempt at existential mob rule.

    It would backfire too: People will fight over which version of the Ten Commandments is the “right” one soon after crap like this passes.

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