Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Laws of the Land

(inspired by Ron at the Middle Earth Journal, even though this isn't actually what he was talking about)

OK, quick quiz - what are the oldest laws you can think of. You know, ones that are so old that it's hard to think of laws older, so well known that pretty much everybody round these here parts has heard them over and over?

Give up? No, you know? That's right! The Ten Commandments.

So, may I ask, what's so wrong with having a set of really old laws made into statues and tablets and stuff and displayed in front of government buildings? Is there some sort of *new* law that says that because we display a religious symbol that symbols from other religions are somehow less important?

I just think that in this particular case, a display of the Ten Commandments is pretty much in context. Like the caduceus displayed on the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps home page. It is indeed a religious symbol, but because it's so associated with medicine, no one would ever think to be offended by it. OK, it's pretty much a defunct religion, but I'm trying to make a point, here.

Are we *really* supposed to keep all religious displays out of public places? Or, instead, is it OK to have a display from any religion - any religion - wherever the heck it seems appropriate? We're supposed to, as Americans, never suppress anyone's ability to practice their religion. This kind of thing, in my opinion, does not violate that spirit.

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