Monuments and the Court<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Kerby <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Anderson
April 16, 2008
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide next term whether a city must post a New Age monument next to the monument to the Ten Commandments. The case went to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and will be one of the more important religious liberty free speech cases to go the Supreme Court in many years.
The case surrounds a group known as Summum that was founded in 1975 by a former Mormon who says he has received visits from "highly intelligent beings" also known as "Summa Individuals." He and his group want to place a monument to its "Seven Aphorisms" alongside a monument to the Ten Commandments that was donated by the local Eagles Club in the 1950s.
At first glance this merely seems like a case based upon fairness. After all, if one group can put up a monument, why can't another group do the same? But various Christian legal groups from the American Center for Law and Justice to Liberty Legal Institute see something else.
They argue that mayhem and confusion will result if a city, a county, or a state is forced to put up alternative monuments. If you have a monument erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, would you also have to allow an anti-war group's monument? Would this also apply to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. and countless other memorials? Can atheist groups post a monument to free thought next to the Ten Commandments?
Hopefully, the high court will attempt to inject some common sense into this discussion. One would hope that they could see the difference between the Ten Commandments (which are the basis of our laws) and the "Seven Aphorisms" of psychokinesis, correspondence, vibration, opposition, rhythm, etc. We will see when the court hears oral arguments this fall. I'm Kerby Anderson, and that's my point of view.
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