Recently there has been some criticism of the Supreme Court's decision to not allow a judge to post the 10 Commandments in his court room. Some sample comments from one conservative talking head:
— We CAN distribute Korans to aspiring terrorists at Guantanamo. — U.S. military
— we CAN support a governor of Arkansas to state employee, begging, "Kiss it."
— we CAN support (with our TAX $$$$) Close-up photos of women's vaginas plastered all over a portrait of the Virgin Mary — Brooklyn Museum of Art
...and a photo of a woman breastfeeding an infant, titled "Jesus Sucks." — NEA-funded performance
...and a photo of a newborn infant with its mouth open titled to suggest the infant was available for oral sex. — NEA-funded performance
...and a "F—- a Fetus" poster showing an unborn baby with the caption: "For all you folks who consider a fetus more valuable than a woman, have a fetus cook for you, have a fetus affair, go to a fetus' house to ease your sexual frustration." — NEA-funded performance
...and a performance of giant bloody tampons, satanic bunnies, three-foot feces and vibrators. — NEA-funded performance
...and a novel depicting the sexual molestation of a group of 10 children in a pedophile's garage, including acts of bestiality, with the children commenting on how much they enjoyed the pedophilia. — NEA-funded publisher
...and Christ submerged in a jar of urine. — NEA-funded exhibit
...and a female performer inserting a speculum into her vagina and inviting audience members on stage to view her cervix with a flashlight. — NEA-funded performance
...and a performance of large, sexually explicit props covered with Bibles performing a wide variety of sex acts and concluding with a mass Bible-burning. — NEA-funded performance
...and a show titled "DEGENERATE WITH A CAPITAL D" featuring a display of the remains of the artist's own aborted baby. — NEA-funded exhibit
...and a play titled "Sincerity Forever," depicting Christ using obscenities and endorsing any and all types of sexual activities as consistent with Biblical teaching. — NEA-funded exhibit
...and a Essay describing then-New York Cardinal John O'Connor as a "fat cannibal from that house of walking swastikas up on Fifth Avenue." Also photographs of men performing oral sex, anal sex, oral-anal sex and masturbation. — NEA-funded exhibit
That's the America you live in! A country founded on a compact with God, forged from the idea that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights is now a country where taxpayers can be forced to subsidize "artistic" exhibits of aborted fetuses. But don't start thinking about putting up a Ten Commandments display. That's offensive!
I don't want to hear any jabberwocky from the Court TV amateurs about "the establishment of religion." (1) A Ten Commandments monument does not establish a religion. (2) The First Amendment prohibits Congress from making any law "respecting" an establishment of religion — meaning Congress cannot make a law establishing a religion, nor can it make a law prohibiting the states from establishing a religion. We've been through this a million times.
Now the Supreme Court is itching to ban the Pledge of Allegiance because of its offensive reference to one nation "under God." (Perhaps that "God" stuff could be replaced with a vulgar sexual reference.) But with the court looking like a geriatric ward these days, they don't want to alarm Americans right before a battle over the next Supreme Court nominee. Be alarmed. This is what it's about.
My opinion is that so called "originalist" legal thought can be highly dangerous, which seems to be where this line of commentary is headed. The "founding fathers" were by many respects dynamic men with incredible forsight to set up institutions like a national bank with a system of national debt, a bill of rights, a flexible constitution, and I could go on. However, there are certain things that some of them believed that I simply do not agree with, or at the very least do not agree should be part of our government today. Do not forget that many of these same men were slave owners, did not support the right of women to vote or even own property, and were probably strongly prejuduiced against non-protestant let alone non-christain religion.
The real success story of American government and our constitution has been the flexibility of the document over time in order to continue to adapt to the current social climate while simultaneously protecting citizen's rights. The beauty of the constitution and our government is NOT to hold us in a 1700's regime of civil rights and social thinking.
In addition, the comparison between the NEA funded art and the recent anit-10 com. in courthouses decision is absolutely awful. I fail to see them as parallel issues. As already pointed out by others, the 10 commandment issue has to do with the formal endorsement of religion by the government, it should seem fairly elementary why putting up the ten commandments in a court room might indicate a religious bias towards non judeo-christian litigants. The artwork, while we could argue over the completely seperate obscenity issue, has little to do with government formal endorsing religion. State funded museums collect valuable artwork of significance in any number of religions, but no one mistakes this for an endorsement of religion.