BIBLE OR CONSTITUTION?
By Peter Fredson
March 6, 2005
The Supreme Court of the United States of America is at this moment deciding whether our country will remain a constitutional democracy or become a Biblical Theocracy by posting the 10 Commandments in every public place, including court houses, schools, and congressional offices.
I am apprehensive about the neutrality of the justices in this matter. Their partisan nature was shown in appointing George W. Bush as President of these United States on a straight political choice basis. Ever since that event I have lost respect for the rulings of the Supremes reflecting neutrality rather than partisanship.
Now we are asking them to rule on whether or not it is constitutional to endorse the public postings of Christianity’s Ten Commandments, based on the deceitful claim that all of our laws are based on Bible quotations. They will be asked to consider that when the Commandments speak of God, it is simply ceremonial ritual, traditional ways, and absolutely secular. Religion is not religiousness. Talking about the Christian God (and there is not the slightest doubt that the posters do NOT mean Allah or Buddha or Krishna), is simply innocuous teaching of good values. Endorsing the Ten Commandments to be posted in every classroom is not establishing any Christian religion…but simply acknowledging the basis of our moral values.
The defenders of the Faith, ACLJ lawyers, point out that there are presently over 4,000 postings and monuments in public places. They have shown a book of paintings with the Ten Commandments Tablets being held by Moses, and how beautiful the paintings are and what a terrible shame that such wonderful works of art, moral virtues, might be ordered “bull-dozed or sand-blasted.” The lawyers point out that some of the postings and paintings are been there for years, and that this makes this “traditional” and even “non-religious.”
They completely ignore that fact that every one of the posters and monuments were imposed, either by deception, stealth or by simply putting the damn things up wherever they are. They ignore that fact that the posters and monuments should never have been put up in the first place. The argument is that “Well, they are now in place, so they should remain there.”
The Supremes undoubtedly will not take into account the demonstrations of True Believers who are blubbering, crying, expostulating, shouting to their God with tears running down their blubbery faces, to “save the 10 Commandments.” One would think that if the court rules against imposition of religious slogans in public spaces that the 10 Commandments would be lost forever. One would think that there will no longer remain any of the millions of Bibles printed and distributed by Christian zealots. One would think that this means the 10 or 20 Commandments would not be allowed to be posted in churches or in the homes of True Believers. One might think that True Believers cannot hang a picture of Moses holding some stone tablets in their bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, garages or any other space that they own.
In my small town there are about 50 churches and I have never seen any of them having a 10 Commandments monument in their front yard. I’m sure they would be delighted to have the Alabama one, the Texan one, the Pittsburgh one, etc. I think the justices should ask the devout believers to take the monuments and shove them in their own front yards.
And, of course, not a single person arguing before the court will question whether somebody went into seclusion for 40 days, and then came back with some tablets holding slogans in his language, to claim that some God had done it, is at all ridiculous, nonsense or even a simple scam. ACLU lawyers will show that posting other civil documents along with the 10 Commandments, makes the 10 Commandments secular statements, not at all religious. No, no, no.
Then we have hints that True Believers might take justice into their own hands if thwarted by the Supremes. After all, we had a governor who threatened publicly to call out his National Guard, if a 10 Commandments Monuments in Alabama were touched. We have a Chief Justice of an Alabama Court who demanded that the world acknowledge his God, who refused to obey orders of his superiors to remove a monument he personally put there, and we have hundred of worshippers coming to see the hunk of metal, and they were blubbering, shouting and waving their arms about in religious ecstasy to be near such a sacred monument. We have most of Congress making statements of “acknowledgement” of the 10 Commandments, and making legislation designed to allow them to be put up anyplace they desired.
What is worse, we know that several of the justices are True Believers. We know that the Chief Justice has declared that the Wall of Separation between Church and State, which has kept this nation at peace for 200 years, is just a bad metaphor. We know that Justice Scalia has made reference of preference to Christianity, and that Justice Moore would not hesitate to dump the Constitution in favor of bible dogma. What is worse, we don’t know of any Justice that has not been a devotee of Christianity, bible reader, or participant in Christian prayer sessions. How is it possible for people who were indoctrinated in their youth, to live in the Far Right world imposed on us by True Believer Presidents, and still be impartial, neutral, and logical?
We know the Justices will be under severe pressure. We believe they will act to accommodate Christian beliefs and slogans in public places. We believe they will find semantic mishmash to justify the imposition of Christianity upon this nation. We believe they will come up with some argument showing that Christian Beliefs are really only tradition, civil ritual, innocuous statements of good morals, ceremonialism, etc., and that everyone who is not a Christian should simply avert their eyes, pretend that they don’t care, and should not resort to civil war over such a tiny thing as imposition.
Should we now expect statues of Jesus, large crucifixes, Virgins, Angels and other religious phenomenon to be placed in public places at taxpayer expense? Should we now expect that public schools will teach Intelligent Design, have daily prayers to baby Jesus, stop teaching biology? Will we have a New Inquisition?