23 June 2006

Colbert and the Ten Commandments on YouTube

Note from the LuapHacim, 11/14/2012: The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect my current beliefs and convictions. Even if they do, I would almost certainly express them in different words today. Time changes people, and I am not exempt. Nonetheless, because of its historical value, I will not modify or remove this post. It tells you (and me) something important about where I've been. Read on at your own peril.

This is bloody brilliant.

If I were single and biologically suited to the task, I would volunteer to have that man's baby (Yes, I know I'm not the first).

Also, once, in my long-vanished youth, I testified in favor of the Ten Commandments being displayed on city property. Yeah... I'm really glad my testimony wasn't much good.

I believe in the Bible. I also believe that the Ten Commandments are an important symbol of the Old Testament Law. But I also believe that Jesus came so that the Law would no longer dominate and subjugate humankind. He came so that we could have abundant life apart from the Law.

And, as I interpret the Constitution, displaying a religious text on public property supports a religious sect, to the exclusion of others, and is thus in violation of the First Amendment.

8 comments:

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luaphacim said...

Part of me wants to delete it, but a bigger part of me screams, "Dang, that's some awesome found poetry!" The latter part will win out, methinks.

marshwiggle said...

Well, except for the fact that if you can't put your religion on public land, then you have placed a restriction on "the free exercise thereof". This my friend, is also a constitution right. I would suggest to you that the Constitution means the government should not regulate religion period. When the government denies one religion, it elevates the other religious establishments. In a progressive world where all are equal, why are certain beliefs looked to be swept out of sight? Is it not better to have a government that allows all free speech, including religious? This restriction on religion today is a restriction of free speech. I would rather see the ten commandments and other religous symbols on public property than banned altogether... Remember how free speech zones on campus create banned speech zones other places? Ironically, would the ten commandments be welcomed in a free speech zone?

I agree with you that Christ came for abundant life apart from the law, but He also came to fulfill it. It is not worthless. However, my first paragraph's argument is not with over Christ's intent, but rather the fact that your interpretation of the constitution seems to me to ignore the free exercise clause. Could you explain?

luaphacim said...

if you can't put your religion on public land, then you have placed a restriction on "the free exercise thereof"

My point is that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" implies pretty strongly that it is not the government's business to use public resources to promote any religion over any other.

Yes, theoretically, if you allowed any religion that wanted to place religious texts in public buildings or on public property to do so, it would not violate the establishment clause. In practice, how many Kansans would want pagan symbols or a star and crescent or pieces of the Kama Sutra or other "weird" religious writings on public property?

The best way to avoid this controversy is to simply declare public land off-limits for anything but the furtherance of public policy (which, I would argue, should not include support for the Judeo-Christian ethic to the exclusion of other religions or non-religious ideologies like atheism).

As for "the free exercise thereof," I'm pretty sure that no one's religious tenets require them to have stone monuments on public land. It's fine to put the Ten Commandments where people can see them -- Manhattan, for instance, enormously increased the visibility of the tablets by putting them on Anderson, facing the road, rather than where they were at city hall -- but to start displaying portions of religious dogma on public land opens a can of worms that we DO NOT want to deal with.

My thinking on the separation of church and state is thus: "I'll keep my church, and you keep your state." :-)

luaphacim said...

(also, I never said the Law was worthless)

marshwiggle said...

now.. to open up a new can of worms... If the constitution says "congress shall pass no law" is there anything really unconstitutional as far as a city government passing a law favoring one religion over the other? Does the phrasing apply just to Congress, or am I missing something?

marshwiggle said...

"Yes, theoretically, if you allowed any religion that wanted to place religious texts in public buildings or on public property to do so, it would not violate the establishment clause."

Then why do people claim it does? This seems to be rather like the pharisees, overkilling the law... Or is this a bad comparison? :)