2 Political Junkies is one of my favorite blogs, and today, there is a fine post there about the Ten Commandments Monument in Connellsville, and the court case about it. In a nut shell- there is this big monument outside of a school which is a monument to the Ten Commandments. Now, in court, the lawyer for the school distyrict is arguing that it isn’t at all an endorsement of religion or even about religion. Dave, begs to differ:
I am not sure, however, how a monument that begins with the text:the Ten CommandmentsI AM the LORD thy God.I Thou shalt have no other gods before me.II Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.III Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.Is anything but an endorsement of religion and a promotion of religious faith.
While I agree basically, and totally get Dave’s point, I think he is really missing the point. The fight isn’t really over religion, but rather it is about maintaining the status quo and the deeply embedded yet undiscussed place of religion within our so-called secular culture. The school district isn’t fighting this because they believe in the supremecy of a judeo-christian belief system. Nope. They are fighting this because they don’t want to hve to confront the place of religious control in what we generally call secular or civil society. This may be a nuanced point, but I think it is an important one.
It isn’t religion and religious ides per se, but rather, it is the unspoken, accepted control Religion exerts in areas of our life we think of as not-church-related.
The idea of an American Theocracy isn’t new, even if the Far Right Religious Conservatives seem to be at it with a new found vigor in their war on woman and gays. The foundation of an American Theocracy have been around for quite a while, and as this case shows, not everyone wants to come to terms with it.
I often think those who wish to promote religion in this way, really aren’t big on promoting the specifics of the religion. Like, really- how is it they can support the death penalty at the same time as following the commandment that one shall not kill? Or the most abused commandment is that one about false witness….
What these folks are big on, is promoting a hierarchical power structure where a few hold judgement over the rest. This notion, what the ten commandments represent as a portratyal of a power structure is their goal, not the specifics of the religious text itself.
What’s interesting, is looking at what the attorney is saying, and then comparing that to what the residents of Connellsville are saying. The attorney knows this is a problem, and the school will loose the lawsuit unless he can reframe the issue. The residents‘ comments are uniquivocal- the Ten Commandments are something that they should live by. (See note above.)
Check out the blog. Dave (and Maria) are always brilliant.
via 2 Political Junkies.
Here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q42nGp-FEqU