Nowadays many people delight in being distressed. They cultivate exquisitely tender sensibilities and practice moral exhibitionism, waxing indignant about minor encounters with thoughts and symbols they dislike. So, just to lower the decibel level of American life, perhaps communities should refrain from religious displays other than in religious contexts.
But this is a merely prudential, not a constitutional consideration. On Monday the justices churned out 140 pages of opinions and dissents about the Texas and Kentucky displays. Here is a one-sentence opinion that should suffice in such cases: "Because the display on public grounds does not do what the establishment clause was written to prevent -- does not impose a state-sponsored creed or significantly advantage or disadvantage one sect or sects -- the display is constitutional."
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Today's Must-Read: Will on the Establishment Clause
George Will takes on the Supreme Court decisions on religious displays by giving a short history lesson of what the founders thought, then ends with this Coalition-worthy conclusion: