This is an archive of the old Stones Cry Out site. For the current site, click here.

« Linda Foley Won't Back Down | Main | UK bank bans Christian group »

June 27, 2005

The Supremes & the 10 Commandments

The much-anticipated Supreme Court ruling on the display of the 10 Commandments on government property will, I think, reign in the extremists, but still leaves room for local courts to determine how much religion is too much. I've been really waiting for this ruling in light of the fact that the 10 Commandments, or at least references to them, appear in the Supreme Court itself.

Sending dual signals in ruling on this issue for the first time in a quarter-century, the high court said that displays of the Ten Commandments _ like their own courtroom frieze _ are not inherently unconstitutional. But each exhibit demands scrutiny to determine whether it goes too far in amounting to a governmental promotion of religion, the court said in a case involving Kentucky courthouse exhibits.

In effect, the court said it was taking the position that issues of Ten Commandments displays in courthouses should be resolved on a case-by-case basis.

I haven't read the whole ruling (and probably wouldn't understand a lot of it if I did), but I do appreciate the clarification that the court gave to the Establishment Clause.
"Of course, the Ten Commandments are religious _ they were so viewed at their inception and so remain. The monument therefore has religious significance," Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote for the majority in the case involving the display outside the state capitol of Texas.

"Simply having religious content or promoting a message consistent with a religious doctrine does not run afoul of the Establishment clause," he said.

It has been this misapplication of the Establishment Clause that has given the ACLU their teeth in taking down anything remotely religious from he public square. Just because a text or an idea lines up with someone's religious belief, it doesn't automatically make it an establishment of religion by the government. Take these displays, for example. All the religious displays on that page (and don't forget to click on "Part II") are from Washington, DC, and if the ACLU had been around then, they'd have never been made. Go there now, and be astonished at what used to be considered acceptable religion in the marketplace until people started misreading the Establishment Clause.

I agree with Justice Thomas that "a more fundamental rethinking of our Establishment Clause jurisprudence remains in order." While I was hoping that this would be case in which to do it, it is a step in the right direction.

Posted by Doug at June 27, 2005 12:09 PM

Trackback Pings

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Supremes & the 10 Commandments:

» How to get around the SCOTUS ruling on the 10 commandments from Blind Mind's Eye
According to Reuters, it is now perfectly legal and constitutional to display the 10 commandments on a public property so long as they are part of a greater exhibit. All in all, this is a very fair court ruling and it will actually bring a little bit ... [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2005 12:56 PM

» Responses to the Supreme Court's Schizophrenic decisions from Danny Carlton (aka Jack Lewis)
  Stephen M. Crampton, Chief Counsel American Family Association's Center for Law and Policy “The Court’s second-guessing of the hidden... [Read More]

Tracked on June 28, 2005 09:02 AM