brokenclay quoted Jefferson:"I tremble for my country when I
reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever."There is no empirical evidence to support the contention that there is a god,
much less that he, she, or it is "just".Indeed, the evidence
all falls on the other side.
Tyler,Religious monuments are not without precedent in our public
buildings, including parts of many of the monuments in Washington, D.C., like
the Library of Congress, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the
Jefferson Memorial. Many of the references go beyond a general theism to being
overtly Judeo-Christian in content. The problem here is that if we
were to be completely consistent in your take of neutrality on religion, we
would have to strike all of these references from these monuments. I'm sure
the ACLU would love to do this, but they know better than to attempt something
that would be so unpopular.It is interesting that the same fathers
who shaped our Constitution did not find references like these to be
inconsistent with the first ammendment-- especially not Thomas Jefferson, the
one who penned the famed words, "separation of church and state," who
wasn't even in the country when the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
were written. He explicitly disavowed any involvement in those documents'
composition. His monument says, "I tremble for my country when I reflect
that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever."
@brokenclay – “Yeah, the post was intended to be humorous as a
response. I'm glad it came across that way.”I’m
sometimes a little surprised by congeniality on this forum… so thanks.This is an area I’ve struggled to reconcile because on the one
hand our society could use a good dose of civic virtue and a reminder of ethical
standards – and certainly commandments 5-10 do that (#10 listing oxen and
manservants notwithstanding). But the first four are strictly
religious in nature and therefore can easily put us on the slippery slope of
displays on public property of any religious text. That makes me
uncomfortable…In terms of how that would affect daily actions,
I think we can easily imagine a scenario of, say, a Buddhist (a religion that
does not believe in personal gods) walking into a court of law that displays the
Ten Commandments and feeling like he/she is not equal in the eyes of the law.I just think we’re on safer ground if the government remains
neutral with respect to religion, overtly or otherwise.Thanks again
for the friendly discussion…
Tyler,Yeah, the post was intended to be humorous as a response.
I'm glad it came across that way.On one level I agree with what
you're saying. I do believe that all religions should be given an equal
voice in the public sphere. There are a number of countries in the world that
surpass the United States in this regard (e.g., the Philippines), which speaks
poorly of us.I don't view the 10 commandments monuments as so
much of a religious statement as a statement of heritage. No, the Constitution
is not drawn directly from the Bible. But there is some indebtedness to the
Bible in the development of Western law and worldview. In this sense, I think
that any ancient law that has substantially contributed to this heritage should
also potentially have a place in our courts and other public buildings. I'm
not sure how Sharia Law has contributed in any substantial sense to Western Law.
Eastern law, yes.It's also unclear how a monument directly
affects the day-to-day actions, beliefs, and responsibilities of citizens like
certain contraceptive laws do.
@brokenclayFrom an aesthetic perspective I liked (and got a good
laugh from) your comment… touché.Of course I disagree
with the content and wonder how you would feel if next to the 10 Commandments we
also put up a plaque listing the edicts of Sharia Law (because if you believe
the 1st Amendment would allow one how could it not allow the other)?
Secular Left?Like most things associated with religion, seems like a
made up term.
For anyone who bemoans religious practice interfering with the State, this is
what it actually looks like - not the silly 10 commandments monument stuff the
Secular Left here in our country has been railing about.
For anyone who bemoans the State interfering with religious practice, this is
what it actually looks like – not the silly health insurance stuff the
Religious Right here in our country has been railing about.
Way to to Malaysia! Banning the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims
will absolutely stop the conversion of Muslims to other faiths! At the very
least it should help increase outward immigration!This is almost in
the same league as China banning reincarnation!