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Ten Commandments

Ten Commandments

Talk about a plan. The US Constitution is probably one of the world’s biggest blueprints. A whole – thoroughly undemocratic – apparatus of government has been built to protect it. But the Supreme Court has its work cut out now the Summum have come to town. Who? One may ask. You know, The Summum, and their Seven Aphorisms. They want to put up a monument to the Seven Aphorisms in a park in Pleasant Grove City, Utah, next to the monument to the Ten Commandments. Duhh.

Summum's Seven Aphorisms

Summum

No way, you might say. But the United States Constitution clearly states that there is to be no established religion in the United States, and the Free Exercise clause suggests that anyone who wants to practice any religion can.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

So where does the Pleasant Grove City decision to deny the Summum the right to put their monument up in the same park as the Ten Commandments fit in to the “Establishment Clause” of the Constitution? Answer. It doesn’t. You can’t favor one religion over another, regardless of whether it has the power of Christianity or the obscurity of Summum. Either both monuments go up in the park or neither do.

Seems pretty simple, except that, surprise, surprise the Christian community don’t see it that way. They want the court to be ‘strict’ when it comes to ‘liberal activism’, bad a tad more lenient when it comes to their harebrained notions of justice, which stomp on the very fabric of the Constitution. Craven and hypocritical are two words that come to mind. There are others but why bother.

Today, the New York Times Editorial Page took Summum’s side in the matter, ahead of a decision expected in the Supreme Court. We’re so glad that George Bush chose those very nice and very “strict constructionists” to the bench because they were so keen to uphold the letter of the Constitution. It’s just a wild guess, but my money goes on the Supreme Court going all “activist” on our asses, by backing the supremacy of Christianity, supporting the Pleasant Grove City authorities, and denying Summum its clear rights under the Constitution. The Supreme Court suggests it always takes a ‘case-by-case’ approach to the constitutionality of monuments, but that sounds very much like a dodge.

I’ve always been somewhat dubious of the political smoke screen that is “Constructionism”. The Supreme Court has never been more political than it is now. There have been a number of litmus tests (keep them cliches coming) of how politicized they have become, including Bush v Gore, Ledbetter v Goodyear etc. The list goes on and on. The Court as it stands it clearly biased towards right wing interests. That may change with the new President, but not yet.

This latest case is an interesting twist. If the court sides with Christianity, it can no longer even remotely be called “Constructionist”. If it doesn’t, it will almost certainly alienate the evangelical base (they are base in more ways than one), who thought the court was the last friend it had left. If the Supreme Court do what their job description tells them to do – i.e. uphold the constitution, the bible belt will get real mad.

So mad they might even set up their own party.

That would be nice.

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Written by coolrebel

November 12, 2008 at 2:32 pm

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