Skip to comments.A Modest Proposal on the Ten Commandments
Posted on 06/28/2005 8:08:46 PM PDT by grey_whiskers
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (by a 5-4 vote) on the presence of the Ten Commandments on public property. A display outside of the Texas Statehouse was allowed to stay; while a display within a Kentucky courthouse was ruled "unconstitutional" on the grounds of "violation of the separation of church and state". The ACLU was the impetus behind the lawsuit.
In addition to this case, the ACLU is currently working to remove the Ten Commandments from a courthouse in Georgia (on similar grounds). Elsewhere, the ACLU is seeking to have a plaque of the Ten Commandments removed from Boland Plaza in Phoenix. Does the ACLU have something against the Ten Commandments? Or do they have some other goal, such as government neutrality in religion, in mind, as they so often claim? By contrast to the Ten Commandments, let us look at another government-funded activity--art. Consider, for example, the controversial work of Andres Cerrano, "Piss Christ", which featured a crucifix in a jar of urine. This art was explicitly funded by the government. Now was this an entanglement of government in religion, an attack on religion, or neutral towards religion? The apparent view of the ACLU in that case is that the juxtaposition of the sacred and the profane creates art, which must be funded, and nothing else, by the government. To do otherwise would be "censorship."
What do we do then, in the case where the artist wishes to portray the sacred as art, but without the urine? Why, naturally, this MUST be an endorsement of religion. It cannot merely be art. (This despite the centuries of great art with religious themes, from Van Eyck, to Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and on to the 20th century artists such as Picasso.)
According to the ACLU, it seems that a religiously themed object MUST be slathered in bodily waste (see also Chris Ofilis "Mary" with elephant dung garnish) in order to qualify as art, and to be neutral towards religion. Any display of the religious on its own must, must, must be an explicit endorsement. How curious! Does this apply only to religious figures, or also to any public personage? Imagine the accusations of "hate crimes" if this treatment were applied to an icon of the left, say JFK, Jesse Jackson, or Hillary Clinton?
Even if you agree in principle with the ACLU (and since when did they become wedded to "original intent" interpretation of the Constitution? Where are the "penumbras" thrown off by the 1st mendment? Or for that matter, the 2nd and the 10th amendments? But I digress), it is in fact possible to disagree with them about what circumstances actually constitute government establishment of religion. Just because a statue is on government property, the government does not require me to endorse it before giving me access to the courthouse. If you want genuine establishment of state religion, try Saudi Arabia, where U.S. troops had to attend P, C, and J morale camps rather than religious ceremonies. If you want fusion of church and state, try the Taliban, which imposed sharia law on as many citizens as it could reach. (The last I heard, the U.S. was bombing the crap out of them.)
In order to find a way out of this lunacy, I propose that the government borrow a technique from the financial markets. I think almost everyone has seen a notice of the following sort, in the business section of their newspaper (taking up a quarter of the page, in bold type):
20,000,000 shares convertible net debentures at 4.325% offered by Shearus Lemming Bros.
This is followed by a disclaimer in microscopic print at the bottom:
"The following is not an offer to sell, nor is it a solicitation of the offer to buy, the securities mentioned in this announcement. That offering is made only by prospectus."
Why not put a similar disclaimer underneath any religious figures or plaques currently on government property? If such a disclaimer is sufficient for the financial arena (and what is more sacred in our society than money?), surely it would be sufficient for other areas of life. To wit:
"The work here depicted is not the property of the US government, nor is it intended to represent either a belief in or an endorsement of the creed represented by the work. That affirmation is made solely by the owners of the work."
If the ACLU balks at this, then it will be clear that it is not government establishment of religion that they oppose, but religion itself, and more specifically, Judaism or Christianity. By the way, where are all the ACLU attorneys and atheist busybodies protesting the U.S. government in Gitmo for distributing the Koran to Islamic prisoners?
(I hope I don't get flamed too badly for wasting bandwidth...)
I'm going to read this now, but I'm stating right up front that I'm opposed to eating Irish children.
Full Disclosure: That was pretty swift of you :-)
Even with a good stout? Bad on both of ya for the jokes.
Clearly the ACLU isn't going to be satisfied with a disclaimer, but it should satisfy the courts.
I thought you were going to suggest that we shut down the National Endowment of the Arts and encourage donors to the ACLU to start giving to the arts instead.
How about eating the children of other nationalities, or is it all not so swift?
Like I said, "Pshaw!" Nice one. Your last question is especially worth pondering.
Just a note, the ACLU cares nothing about this country or its founding documents or religious principles on which it was founded. Exposing them as frauds will serve no purpose because WE already know it and the other side is cheering 'em on. I think your heart's in the right place but trying to outmaneuver the ACLU in the present judicial environment is an exercise in futility.
Your mileage may vary. Read and follow label directions ;^)
It'll help with the 20% in the middle.
I think your heart's in the right place but trying to outmaneuver the ACLU in the present judicial environment is an exercise in futility.
It's time the right took the offensive on cultural matters. Throwing a monkey wrench into their bullshit is a good start.
Thanks for the comments!
I don't disagree with your sentiments, but the Constitution is written clearly enough the average 6th grader can read and understand it. It has nothing to do with the language or the wording; it's a matter of the good guys having to jump through progressivly smaller hoops designed by the ACLU and their fellow travelers to create a legal quagmire for real Americans.
Thanks for the comments!