< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://davejustus.com/" >

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

10 Commandments Case

John Podoretz in the New York Post::

THOUGH it has always been the fantasy of Americans that their highest court was truly a Solomonic body, only the foolish and the sentimental hew to that romantic vision of the U.S. Supreme Court these days. After all, it would have been hard to imagine the intellectual reputation of the court sinking much lower than it did among liberals back in 2000, after the decision that ended the presidential recount in Florida — or among conservatives back in 1992, when it handed down the decision affirming the constitutionality of Roe vs. Wade. The court was accused of many offenses on these and other occasions — sophistry, cowardice, being power-hungry. Rarely, however, has it been accused of acting idiotically. But that's just what the court did yesterday in a pair of decisions involving the display of the Ten Commandments. Individually, the decisions are arguable. Taken together, they are nonsense on stilts. One says you cannot display the Ten Commandments on state property. The other says you can. That's the way it comes down. Period.
I agree that these decisions were a non decision, presumably designed to sheild the court from controversy rather than actually settle any debate. I am somewhat amenablele to either interpretation in this case. Clearly, the disestablishment clause aenvisioneded by the Founders would not have precluded displays of the 10 commandments. It is equally clear though, that the Founders pretty much had a blind spot in regards to non-Christian religions (Even the diests were certainly accepting of Christianity) and it iconsistentnt with the principles in the contitution to make sure that Jews, Hindus, Muslims, whatever feel as protected and secure in their rights as any of the various strains of Christianity. Further, the meta issue behind this strikes me as somewhat trivial. For the most part, despite protestations to the contrary, these displays are designed as ostentatious presentations of piety. Equally, those who claim offense at them are largely offended because they chose to be and are not seriously concerned about basic rights but simply concerned about not being offended. Both sides that havexacerbateded this debate should really grow up. We should expect, at minimum, clear rulings from the Supreme Court. I think they have often fallen short of that goal this session, but these two ruling are a spectacular failing in that regard. Update: Here is an interesting post on why Christians should not want Government displays of the 10 commandments. My theological knowledge of Christianity matches this assessment. (via Instapundit)


Blogger RFTR said...

Here's the thing (regarding your update): decisions shouldn't be made based on what we want to have happen or not. Decisions should be made based on what the Constitution says and what the Founders intended.

As a Christian, I don't see the need to have the ten commandments displayed on public property. At the same time, I don't see the harm.

It's the same stance I take with flag burning: I don't care for it, but I also think the Constitution (as it stands) protects that right.

The Founders did not intend the First Amendment to shield the public from ALL religion, they intended to shield the public from one state-controlled religion. Let a judge display the ten commandments in his courtroom if he wants--and let another display Sharia if he wants. WHO CARES?

6/28/2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

I agree that the update is very tangental to the Supreme Court ruling. I think it is signifigant point for those who want this displayed in a Courthouse to think about though.

6/28/2005 10:21:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home