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5.27.2005

High Noon at Sunrise Rock

"The ACLU sues over a cross honoring fallen soldiers--and cashes in."

Apparently, a cross, privately maintained, on what was once private land, but now is public, needs to be torn down.

If the ACLU didn't blatantly attack Christians so disproportionately often, I would say they are pretty much a lobbyist group for criminals.

The first amendment is there for a reason. But let's review:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Note that it does not prohibit funding (explicit or implicit) to religious entities ( e.g. faith-based initiatives, all churches have been tax exempt for quite some time), nor restrict the decisions of politicians to be based on religion.

The clause was mainly concerned about two things:
-Do not establish a national religion
-Do not persecute any particular religion.

Somehow, people have interpreted this to mean that the government must actually discriminate between private religious entities and private secular entities, which, if anything, goes directly against the intent of the law.

This said, let me establish that I think all entities (private & secular) should be taxed equally, and government should fund basically nothing save for national defense & government agencies like the law enforcement, law making, and law interpretation. I dislike faith-based initiatives pork, but not because of the separation of church & state.

But this kind of attack is way beyond. Somehow, it is persecution to show any hint of religion in the public sphere.

I'm not trying to get all victimized here. The whole point is that people need to be less sensitive to these non-issues that violate one's taste more than one's rights.

5 Comments:

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Miguel said...

I'm not sure whether you mean "lobbyist group for criminals" in a deragotory sense, but I can't think of a group that needs lobbyists more than criminals.

"No religious icons on public land" sounds like a better rule to apply than "not many crosses on public land" to me - do you think there's a fair way to apply an "it's OK if it's been there a while" rule?

I don't think the founders "intent of the law" can fairly be associated with these debates, because Congress wasn't really supposed to oversee property as they do now in the 1st place... the founders don't have crosses on the public land they had at the time, though (the White House, etc.).

Looking for a picture of the cross, I found a little backstory. Busybodies in the United States Congress passed a law to give the acre that the cross is on to a private developer. Reagan-appointed and popular-with-libertarians Judge Alex Kozinsky laughed that law out of court and noted that the government was bending over backwards to treat the Latin cross specially.

If you really want the cross to stay up, maybe you could donate some money to Creation Digest who are my first google hit on the subject and seem to be lobbying against the ACLU here.

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

The cross is privately maintained and existed on the land before it was public. If anything, it should be declared a historical landmark.

I agree the founders didn't foresee the conservationist movement. That doesn't change the idea that the government shouldn't establish or suppress a religion. The former is not occurring given the private maintenance.

If you read the article, you'll find another large complaint. Apparently a civil rights law makes it so that the legal fees for such suits are paid by the loser or by the public. This incentive system is ridiculous, where a rich institution like the ACLU targets folks that can't afford to defend themselves. I mean, do you really think they give a shit about the cross?


As for the "lobbyist group for criminals", yes I mean it in a derogatory sense. Maybe they're the only ones that get press, but there are way too many cases of an urgent search for a tiny loophole to clear the name of a clearly guilty murderer. Let's just say it isn't the first organization I would give my money to.

This one looks good. They take 0% for overhead from your donation.

 
At 1:16 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

To make it clear, it should be "no state sponsored religious icons on public ground". Applied to that 10-commandments issue, I would put it to a vote in the city, and require private funds for everything.

I see no reason to block a majority from self-funding religious expression on public ground.


Note also, I'm sure you can guess that I think there should be very little public ground. Government buildings is it really. No roads, nature preserves, utilities, schools etc.

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

In this case, the ACLU is trying to impose a cost on the federal government for paying special attention to religious interests. The cross is against the law, as the government has recognized. It's like the Schiavo case, where one arguably bad outcome is an impetus for stupid polical posturing. We're at war, Ivan. Don't your favored politicians have anything better to than put on a show for their godhead constituents like they don't control all three branches of government?

I think your proposal for huge statues of Jesus on the cross in every public facility with more than 50% religious Christians is poorly thought out.

 
At 11:40 AM, Blogger Ivan said...

I think I might be wrong about the private funding on public land proposal.

The clear solution is the have a very small ammount of public land.

The park ranger who complained about the cross to begin with would certain not be paid with my tax dollars :)

 

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