Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Scalia says

According to this article in the St. Petersburg Times, Justice Scalia is not concerned with the issues of Hindus, Buddhists, athiests, etc. In McCreary County v. ACLU, Scalia mentioned in his dissent that "With respect to public acknowledgment of religious belief, it is entirely clear from our Nation's historical practices that the Establishment Clause permits this disregard of polytheists and believers in unconcerned deities, just as it permits the disregard of devout athiests." (McCreary County, KY v. American Civil Liberties Union of KY, 2005). This from the man who believes Roe should be overturned, even though abortion was legal at the founding of the country. That seems somehow inconsistent to me, but I digress.
His point is that the Founding Fathers didn't consider non monotheistic religions when founding the nation and that the establishment of a religion meant one of Christian, Jewish, or Muslim (although I doubt there were many Muslims fighting in the revolution either, but I'm digressing again).
It would appear from these comments that Justice Scalia would incorporate "Thou Shalt have no other gods before me" into everyday life for all Americans, because that was predominant in America at the time of the founding. I can't comport with that synopsis. One of the great things about this country, and the Constitution, is that it is designed to protect the minorities, even in the religious sphere.
Justice O'Connor actually said "We do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment." I disagree with the removal of the Ten Commandments on my belief that they are listed as a source of law, not a source of religion, that was not the reason proffered by the State of Kentucky, and the Court reached the decision they did. Even though I disagree with the verdict, I wholly agree with what Justice O'Connor said, and the premise that this country was ostensibly created to allow the practice of all religions free from Government - for lack of a better term - encouragement of any one type (in this case monotheism), then I think Justice Scalia is wrong on this point.

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