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Quote of the Day - The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish. - Robert Jackson
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Consistency In The Rule Of Law

We the people. Well, we are still people, and we are still we. United.

Or are we? The Constitution requires the separation of church and state. We may not agree with it, and even disagree regarding its interpretation.

But, that's what it says.

Now I'm not a strict constructionist. And even though I'm the son of a preacher, I'm not a fundamentalist. But, I do believe in a consistent rule of law. Stare decisis and all that.

So you'll understand my frustration with so many recent decisions dealing with religious symbols on government property. Take for example, these two: First we have an attempt to remove the cross from the Seal of Los Angeles County. There it is, right there above the Hollywood Bowl. Actually, if you've been to the Bowl, you know there is a cross on a nearby hill, and stars in the sky. So, the depiction is realistic.

But the cross isn't on government property that I know of, so presumably it's OK.

Second, there's a similar dispute in nearby Riverside County, where the Anti-Defamation League wants to remove an inscription quoting Thomas Jefferson, "The true Christian is the true citizen" from the historic Riverside County Courthouse.

Both religious statements on government property. In LA, the suit to stop the County from removing the cross was dismissed to prevent suit by the ACLU.

The LA County Board of Supervisors voted to remove the cross. In Riverside, in stark contrast, the County voted to leave the inscription alone.

We've had more than 200 years of decisions on this point. There's no question anymore what the majority rule is. Keep church and state separate.

Why do we still have disputes over this issue?

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, October 24, 2004 at 16:37 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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