GrokMart

Spanning the globe for insights into human behavior and persuasion.

6.27.2005

 

Score One for the First Amendment

Being employed in the marketing/communications field, as well as considering myself devout, the First Amendment has everyday importance to me. I believe in the entire First Amendment. I also believe today's Supreme Court rulings are a victory for Americans.

Since I've paid attention to the church/state debate, I've thought that proponents of 10 Commandments displays were barking up the wrong tree. It's not about religion; it's about history. The Ten Commandments is one of the pillars (not the only pillar, as fellow buzzmachine commenters reminded me) of Western civilization. So what if prohibitions against killing, lying and stealing are the only overt references to the Ten Commandments we now find in our law? The point is, they established a widely held "rule of law," and they are part of our government's ancestry. They deserve a space on government property. But only because of their historical significance.

Say someone who shares my LDS beliefs wanted to erect a memorial listing the LDS Church's "Articles of Faith." Even though I believe the tenets the articles espouse, I would find such a monument morally reprehensible. (UPDATE: Should have noted that I would find such a monument morally reprehensible if it were erected on government property. It doesn't belong there.)

I don't consider myself a strict separationist by any means. I think it's wrong that the prevailing demands for "freedom from religion" are squelching religion from public life. But I agree with Justice Souter that the government should be neutral on the subject of religion.

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