Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Scalia: I Will Put An End to the Making Unto Thee Likenesses Of any Thing That Is In the Water Under the Earth 

I hope you enjoyed all that "making no law respecting an establishment of religion" business while it lasted, 'cause the SCOTUS will be answering to a higher law this session: Chuck Heston (he dead yet?).

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Display of

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will take up the constitutionality of Ten Commandments displays on government land and buildings, a surprise announcement that puts justices in the middle of a politically sensitive issue.
In the past decade, justices have refused to get involved in Ten Commandments disputes from around the country. Three conservative justices complained in 2001, when the court declined to rule on the constitutionality of a Ten Commandments display in front of the Elkhart, Ind., Municipal Building.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, joined by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, said the city sought to reflect the cultural, historical and legal significance of the commandments. Rehnquist noted that justices' own chambers includes a carving of Moses holding the Ten Commandments.

What's great about these Public Displays of God-Fearing is that, over about 150 years, they have established a "cultural, historical, and legal" precedent in the US where there simply was never one intended by the framers of the constitution, a rag-tag bunch of deists, Free-Thinkers, proto-Unitarians, and rich agnostics. But, in a century or so of concentrated effort by many people, progressive and reactionary, left and right, suddenly God (the Christian one) began poppping up in the Public Sphere, and by now, he's on our money, in our Pledges, on the lips of every politician, and in our courtrooms.

Decalogue, n. A series of commandments, ten in number -- just enough to permit an intelligent selection for observance, but not enough to embarrass the choice. Following is the revised edition of the Decalogue, calculated for this meridian.
Thou shalt no God but me adore:
'Twere too expensive to have more.
No images nor idols make
For Robert Ingersoll to break.
Take not God's name in vain; select
A time when it will have effect.
Work not on Sabbath days at all,
But go to see the teams play ball.
Honor thy parents. That creates
For life insurance lower rates.
Kill not, abet not those who kill;
Thou shalt not pay thy butcher's bill.
Kiss not thy neighbor's wife, unless
Thine own thy neighbor doth caress.
Don't steal; thou'lt never thus compete
Successfully in business. Cheat.
Bear not false witness -- that is low --
But "'hear 'tis rumored so and so."
Covet thou naught that thou hast not
By hook or crook, or somehow, got.


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