The NY Times has this write-up of the Ten Commandments decision (should we refer to this as the 11th Commandment?):
The Supreme Court ruled today that displaying the Ten Commandments on government property does not necessarily violate the constitutional principle that there must be a separation between church and state.
In a pair of 5-to-4 rulings, the court said the display of the Ten Commandments in a 22-acre park at the Texas State Capitol was proper, but that the displays of the Commandments in two county courthouses in Kentucky were so overtly religious as to be impermissible.
The rulings, the first by the court in a quarter-century on the emotional issue of the proper place of the Commandments in American life, conveyed the message that disputes over such religious displays must be decided case by case, and that the specific facts are all important.
Seems to me they split the baby. I mostly have no problem with public displays of the Ten Commandments, and my general opinion is that there are those who do want to remove any mention of God from the public square, something I don’t agree with. Dobson had this to say:
Today’s split ruling sends a mixed message to the American public. The court has failed to decide whether it will stand up for religious freedom of expression, or if it will allow liberal special interests to banish God from the public square. Those who care deeply about the religious heritage of this country have cause to be concerned by the apparent lack of commitment to the founders’ intent shown by our nation’s highest court.
“One point has been clearly made by these decisions: the infamous ‘Lemon Test,’ used by the court in deciding these cases, is too restrictive of freedom of speech, allows for inequitable rulings and should be replaced. Just as clear is the fact that there is a religious witch-hunt underway, one which has infected virtually every level of our government. It is nothing less than historical revisionism to try to use the First Amendment as an excuse to scrub away all governmental references to the Ten Commandments and our Judeo-Christian heritage.”
As I have stated, I really don’t care about this issue, so Iwill have to rely jaded and cynical Dobson test:
Dobson sounds pissed, so it can’t be that bad of a ruling.
In other Supreme Court news, it doesn’t seem like the Grokster ruling was that big of a deal. I don’t know why anyone uses peer-to-peer technology, what with all the dangerous privacy problems and security risks.
BTW- Did any of you watch the ‘religious witch-hunt’ this weekend as the Billy Graham Crusade was simulcast on every cable news channel?
Mark Daniels (via Instapundit):
These rulings, it should be noted, allow for government entities to acknowledge the significance of the Ten Commandments as part of the common heritage of America, as the court apparently felt was true of the display in Texas in favor of which they ruled.
But they disallow the use of public monies and public properties to uphold a specific religious perspective (for example, Jewish or Christian) out of deference to the establishment clause, the provisions of which they deemed violated by the Kentucky displays.
In fact, I feel that these rulings should be welcomed by Christians. The government entity which today can give preferential treatment to Christians can, quite conceivably, give preference to other religions in the future. Better a society in which all are given equal opportunity for expression than one which sides with a specific religion or sect.
The sweet and savory taste of sanity.