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Sandblasting the American Public Realm?

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
Messages
3,162
Points
28
Why the uproar over Christian religious elements present on monuments in public spaces? I don't get it. As most of you know from a recent thread I started, I'm an unaplogetic athiest. But what I don't get is how upset some Americans get over the word "God" and other Christian references on monuments in our public spaces. I just ignore them - I understand this country is mainly Christian and it's not like public spaces are telling me what to believe. I don't have a problem with it. Of course, Chief Justice Roy Moore in Alabama loves his Ten Commandments monument, and there are arguments from the whole separation of church and state philosophy to remove it from the Alabama Judicial Building. But in the end, is it really hurting anyone? Do we have to give equal time to Muslims, Buddhists, and athiests? I don't know. What do you think? Are we sandblasting God from the public realm?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
A few years ago there was a big flap over the Christmas tree in the state capitol. This problem was solved by calling it a holiday tree and putting other religious symbols, such a a menorrah, on display to create a “balanced” display.

Well, let’s look at this objectively. To begin with, an evergreen is hardly a Christian symbol, despite its association with a major Christian holiday. As to giving equal time to other denominations, I think there is some merit to the idea. Certainly, it would not be right to deny most religions an opportunity given to one. But which ones do we want to recognize? There are some sham religions out there, and some that hold very unpopular beliefs. For example, some sects may hold beliefs in ideas like white supremecy. Do we want to give that a formal venue under the guise of religion?

I think another aspect to be explored is historical context. I do see a difference between, say, a monument erected two centuries ago by a religious group that founded a town or donated the park in which it is placed, and a judge who wheels around a 4000 granite slab with religious writings etched on it. This also goes to intent. It is the responsibility of the judiciary to interpret civil law, not theocratic law. There is a distinct difference between the two.

Unfortunately, it is too complex an issue for an easy solution. Each instance really should be considered on its own circumstances, yet that is imprecise. What likely will happen is that the courts and legislatures will tend to disapprove of religious displays, intending to err on the side of not “establishing a religion.”
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
If they're going to be putting there religious icons in public spaces, I want a beer tap at every public space. Jesus for Beer 2003 (sorry Jesus).
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
Messages
3,162
Points
28
Just posted on Yahoo! News at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=558&e=1&u=/ap/20031103/ap_on_go_su_co/scotus_ten_commandments

Court Won't Enter Ten Commandments Fight
10 minutes ago

By ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court refused Monday to enter the long-running fight over an enormous monument depicting the Ten Commandments and the renegade judge who wants to put it back on display in an Alabama courthouse.

The court quietly rejected appeals from suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who had argued the monument properly acknowledges "God as the source of the community morality so essential to a self-governing society."

...The Supreme Court's action is not a ruling on the thorny question of whether the Ten Commandments may be displayed in government buildings or in the public square. It merely reflects the high court's unwillingness to hear the appeal...
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
I can't say I blame the Supreme Court for not wanting to get involved with this highly charged case. With the exception of perhaps Scalia and perhaps Thomas, the Court knows that they have the Constitutional duty to reject the Alabama judges appeal. However, they also know the politcal fallout that would occure if they were to do so. The religious right would have a field day if that were to happen.

Cardinal I think you are absolutly right about looking at public religious symbols within their historical context. Unfortunately this is something reactionaries on both the left and right often have difficulty doing.
 
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