Thoa, your post was very well put. Thank you for articulating so much of what I have been wanting to say here.
|Yes, our country was built on Christian principles, to some extent, but more so it was built on the principle that the MAJORITY MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO IMPOSE ITS RELIGION ON THE MINORITY.
I would take this statement a step further & say that it is not a matter of protecting the minority from the majority, but actually protection for everyone not in power from those *in power*. Our constitution is all about protecting the masses from the tyranny of a powerful elite.
And in this case, Judge Moore is that powerful elite. He is using the power of his publicly elected office to express his personal beliefs, and by placing these beliefs in a public place those beliefs have state endorsement. I would say that the framers of the constitution had the prevention of exactly this situation in mind when they wrote the 1st amendment.
Of course, anyone, including an office holder like Judge Moore, is entitled to the free expression of their convictions. That is what the 1st amendment is all about. Judge Moore can tatoo the 10 commandments to his forehead if he likes, or hold court wearing a sandwich board outlining the Christian basis of his decisions. He can print up a flyer with all his Bible verses in it, or, let's be modern: even set up a web site! There is no end to the ways he can openly show respect to his God. After all, he was elected by the people of Alabama, they must like what he has to say. Put that monument in his front yard & invite people over. Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly.
To the supporters, ask yourself this: if I had a pretty statue of the Goddess & I snuck onto public property in your state one nite & erected it for all to see, would it get to stay? What if I showed up when you tried to move it & said, "hey I'm just expressing my religion & 1st amendment rights!" (Please admit that whether the framers were Christian or not is a moot point, the 1st amendment says "religion" not "Christianity") Wouldn't you look @ me & say "Hey heathen! I don't believe in your Goddess & I don't like statues of naked women in public, it's going! Put it on your own front lawn, it offends me & my religious beliefs just to see it there! And besides, that public place was paid for with my taxes too, not just yours!"
Also, I would like to ask this to Nursing Mother: don't you think this is some of this potential for discontent you were talking about in your post about a possible civil war? I never got a chance to post on that thread, but I agree with you, it is wrong to think "it can't happen here." If you look @ the wars & terrorism going on in the world now, aren't they all to some extent fueled by religion? Religious beliefs are so deeply held & often in conflict with the teachings of competing religions, don't you think that is why they are often the seeds of war? For this reason, it makes me so afraid to see Christians trying to move their personal religion into our public sphere. It seems like some are so extreme that they will even go to violent means to "express" their beliefs! In the name of peace, we simply cannot allow any religion to be sponsored by the state. Do you see what I'm saying?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.