Seventy-five years ago, the Veterans of Foreign Wars erected a cross in the desert. That desert eventually became part of a preserve, and what was an act, memorializing heroes, became a source of litigation. The ACLU sought to ban the “religious symbol,” the Ninth Circuit complied, and it stood covered for years.
No longer. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court overruled the Ninth Circuit, sending atheists into a tizzy. Good news, though the victory is tempered by the narrowness of the ruling and an ideological split. When you walk into the U.S. Capitol, it says: In God We Trust. Yet it seems that increasingly, we accommodate those who hate Him. While it may shock the ACLU, the signers of the Constitution would’ve frowned on cross-banning.
They desired God in public life. They’d come from Europe, where an all-powerful and corrupt church had imbedded itself in government, so rejected “state” religion in favor of local worship.
The split is troubling for this reason. Justices Breyer, Stevens, Sotomayor and Ginsberg - all in dissent - would have us believe that America is secular. The Constitution prohibits the establishment of religion, says no law may be passed for this purpose; yet they interpret this to ban every religious aspect.
What needs to be banned are biased robes. A one vote swing is too close of a call.