Separation of Church & State?


Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on a case regarding the separation of church and state. Here’s a summary of the case straight from the Court’s ruling:

“In 1934, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) placed a Latin cross on federal land in the Mojave National Preserve (Preserve) to honor American soldiers who died in World War I. Claiming to be offended by a religious symbol’s presence on federal land, respondent Buono, a regular visitor to the Preserve, filed this suit alleging a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and seeking an injunction requiring the Government to remove the cross.”


At some point in the 90’s a Buddhist requested permission to use public land nearby but was denied.

A District Court decided that having the cross up violated the Establishment Clause. While the government’s appeal was pending, the Congress passed “the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2004, §8121(a) of which directed the Secretary of the Interior to transfer the cross and the land on which it stands to the VFW in exchange for privately owned land elsewhere in the Preserve (land transfer statute).”

The District Court ruled that this was disingenuous; that Congress was just circumventing the court’s ruling. The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the District Court was wrong, and that such a land transfer would be an appropriate action.

From the majority opinion of Justice Kennedy:

“…the District Court concentrated solely on the religious aspects of the cross, divorced from its background and context. But a Latin cross is not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs. It is a symbol often used to honor and respect those whose heroic acts, noble contributions, and patient striving help secure an honored place in history for this Nation and its people. Here, one Latin cross in the desert evokes far more than religion. It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten.”


I understand the sentiment here, and by no means would I disrespect the men who have fought and died for this country, but he main idea that an eight foot tall Latin cross evokes is religion. There are plenty of beautiful, respectful monuments in honor of our troops all over this country that do not display such blatantly religious objects. I pass a very nice, patriotic monument honoring those lost in Vietnam every morning on my way to work. I think it’s great. If I had to drive past a large cross on public property every day I would not be so happy.

From the dissenting opinion of Justice Stevens:

“The Establishment Clause, if nothing else, prohibits government from ‘specifying details upon which men and women who believe in a benevolent, omnipotent Creator and Ruler of the world are known to differ.’ A Latin cross necessarily symbolizes one of the most important tenets upon which believers in a benevolent Creator, as well as nonbelievers, are known to differ.

I certainly agree that the Nation should memorialize the service of those who fought and died in World War I, but it cannot lawfully do so by continued endorsement of a starkly sectarian message.”


I couldn’t say it better myself. I guess that’s why these people get appointed to the highest court in the land.

By the way, the Court’s rulings were very easy to find and, believe it or not, they are moderately comprehensible for the lay person. Find more here: SupremeCourt.gov.

2 comments:

DM said...

they thought BOOBIES had no effect... WRONG!


see, I just want to make it clear to the rest of you:


jen is unable to see that there is a CONFLICT BETWEEN EROS & SCIENCE....

________________

blaghag.com/2010/04/in-name-of-science-i-offer-my-boobs.html

ETA: follow-up
blaghag.com/2010/04/quick-clarification-about-boobquake.html

see how we take a term and convert in into its AUTHENTIC POLITICAL DIMENSION - THAT
OF LIBERATION - not just merely harmless expression...

they thought BOOBIES had no effect... WRONG!
____________

FOR THE *HEADLESS IDIOT* called m.shermer

skeptic.com/Merchant2/graphics/audio_video/av558_lg.jpg

this is your *FINAL WARNING*

____________________________________
the really SHARP END OF OCCAM’S RAZOR…

they mix SKEPTICISM with ATHEISM…

KABOOM…

Now I want you to listen to this little f*cker...

ted.com/talks/james_randi.html

Randi:

When I see your UGLY FACE I understand why you are an atheist

_________________________________

Visit for the BOOBQUAKE

badscience.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=15921&p=343431#p343431

DM said...

let me show you the end results of this particular *ONE-DIMENSIONAL SCIENTIFIC MODE*
of thinking that is called *CRITICAL THINKING*, which is completely divorced from
any human objectives...

this style has been perfected by dawkins, pz, randi and the other *NEW ATHEISTS*


THE BOOBQUAKE - 911!

hey, atheists don't even BELIEVE IN BOOBIES!!!

they thought BOOBIES had no effect... WRONG!


see, I just want to make it clear to the rest of you:


jen is unable to see that there is a CONFLICT BETWEEN EROS & SCIENCE....

http://www.blaghag.com/2010/04/in-name-of-science-i-offer-my-boobs.html


http://www.blaghag.com/2010/04/quick-clarification-about-boobquake.html

see how we take a term and convert it into its AUTHENTIC POLITICAL DIMENSION - THAT
OF LIBERATION - not just merely harmless expression...

they thought BOOBIES had no effect... WRONG!

Visit for the BOOBQUAKE:


http://dissidentphilosophy.lifediscussion.net/philosophy-f1/the-boobquake-911-t1310.htm




how about I believe in WHATEVER I want and you little fuckers have nothing to say!

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