Thousands of years of tradition and philosophy mean nothing over at the New York Times, where the ever gullible editorial page editors have swallowed the hokum perpetrated by a band of practical jokers out of Salt Lake City.
Today they weighed in on a Supreme Court case in which Pleasant Grove City, Utah, is being sued because it refuses to erect in its Pioneer Park a monument etched with the Seven Aphorisms that are the basis for a pseudo-religion established in 1975. The argument is that since the city’s park has a monument containing the Ten Commandments, then it cannot defy the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the establishment of a state sanctioned religion.
“The federal appeals court reached the right result, but regrettably, it ducked the issue at the heart of the case, which turns on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment,” the Times pontificated. “The real problem is that Pleasant Grove City elevated one religion, traditional Christianity, over another, Summum. The founders regarded this sort of religious preference as so odious that they included a specific provision in the First Amendment prohibiting it.”
Just because the U.S. Supreme Court building has the Ten Commandments displayed on a frieze, that doesn’t make Christianity the state religion. Nor is there a crying need to add the tenets of every crack-pot, tax-dodging band of fools.
What next? The scribblings of the Church of Ralph? Never heard of the Church of Ralph? That was a bunch of Texas bikers who claimed beer was their sacramental beverage of choice and claimed they should not be required to pay the taxes on it.
The very first sentence on the first page of the Web site for the Summum religion states, “Summum is a 501(c)(3) and 170(b)(1)(A)(i) tax exempt organization incorporated in the State of Utah, USA in 1975. One of the by-laws and basic tenets of Summum is the practice of the rites of Mummification and Transference. In 1986, the practice of these rites was formally recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as exempt from federal taxation.”
And be sure to visit the gift shop.
But the editorialists at the Times believe, “Public property like Pioneer Park must be open to all religions on an equal basis — or open to none at all.”
So the N.Y. Times wants to allow equal space next to “Thou shalt not kill” for “Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates."
The First Amendment is a serious effort to prohibit government interfering with our lives, it should not be drawn like a weapon to defend pranksters.