An article, worth reading by the way, appeared detailing where a federal judge ruled that a school may not have a live Nativity scene at the school. This ruling was against the Concord Community Schools of Indiana.
The suit was brought by American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Well, as one might imagine, I have an opinion or two on the subject. And, no, I don't have a law degree - but I can read.
As part of the judge's ruling, he (U.S. District Judge Jon E. Deguilio) stated that, “...it conveys a message of endorsement of religion.” Further, he added that such a scene "...violates the Establishment Clause” - Note: he meant of the US Constitution.
Well, let's look at some facts here:
The 'Establishment Clause' of our Constitution, part of the 1st Amendment, reads as follows: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...".
Seems pretty clear to me - CONGRESS is prohibited from establishing a religion applicable to the entire country NOR can CONGRESS do anything to prohibit the "free exercise" of religion by anyone.
George Washington had this to say on the subject:
The 'Establishment Clause' was and is applicable to the federal government alone and to none other - not to the States and not to any local government(s).
The/any display of a Nativity scene does not constitute an "establishment" - it is a display of celebration, nothing more.
All to often of late we see the same argument used by this "judge" to support, as ole George put it, "spiritual tyranny", against any and all theist beliefs and to curtail ..the free exercise thereof...
Some (who can't or won't read) sometimes offer, "What about the Constitution's guarantee of separation of church and state?"
To those I would reply that no place in the US Constitution is such a guarantee made - anywhere. The 'Establishment Clause' assures that the government may not establish a national religion; but 'separation of church and state' is never mentioned.
That concept is wholly and singularly derived from one opinion offered by Thomas Jefferson:
“… I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” ~~ Letter to the Danbury Baptists, January 1, 1802
But, let's look at another aspect of this ongoing issue.
The Freedom From Religion organization, an openly atheist organization, seeks to remove from the public eye all that which references God, The Son of God, etc. And, they repeatedly use the 'Establishment Clause' to justify their actions. As we have seen, this organization and all those who support this organization must have remedial reading and comprehension issues as the "Establishment Clause' clearly specifies ..of religion.. NOT ..from religion...
But, if it is the belief issue that so upsets them, then perhaps they should understand some basics.
Atheists state that there is no God. Theists state that there is a God (or sometimes even "gods"). Now, no one who believes in God can actually prove His existence. And, no atheist can prove there is no God. So, both have what is commonly referred to as a "belief"; or, accepting as fact that which cannot be proven. Certainly there is nothing wrong with believing, and it makes one neither correct nor incorrect.
Therefore, since atheists have a belief system, as do those who believe in God, what Constitutional (or logical) statement exists that says the atheists' belief system should have preferential treatment over those who have different beliefs? There is none, of course.
Further, any person or organization that resorts to a law suit or the threat of a law suit to promote their disbelief in a Supreme Being is a coward - pure and simple. As most against whom such law suits are filed/threatened are not heavily monied, such actions are nothing more than "legal" extortion - not of money, but of surrendering a freedom guaranteed by our Constitution.
When has any of us seen any of these cowards threaten to bring or file such a lawsuit against a well funded person or organization? Well, of course, none of us has - and won't. It is only the finacially too meager to support a long and costly defense who are the targets. They are forced to just surrender their freedoms - or go bankrupt, putting untold numbers of people out of work. For but a single, more recent example of this "extortion" and cowardice, Click Here.
In summary, for any person or organization opposing religious celebrations by those who have a differing belief system, go back and read the last part of the 'Establishment Clause' - you know, the part that says "shall not...prohibit the free exercise thereof..". Actually, those who complain and file such law suits have their heads where the Sun shineth not! - including you, judge - and all like you!