And I must admit, native americans are cooler than jews, can you imagine watching episodes of F Troop with hasids on the old prairie instead of indians, scratching, hokking and whining. Ratings disaster.
So yesterday Antonin Scalia, diminutive italian catholic member of the Supreme Court, fashionably called SCOTUS in some circles, has a little shit fit about memorial crosses on public land. He makes the absurd statement that crosses do not honor a particular religion. The lawyer arguing the case for the plaintiff, happened to be jewish (great shock) and said that his World War II veteran father would disagree. Scalia was in a tizzy and said what would you want, some memorial polyglot ( I'm paraphrasing) ? Someone asked on a forum yesterday if christians would view stars of david as appropriate symbols on their memorials, devoid of religious symbolism? I think a memorial that does not honor a particular creed makes good sense.
From the WSJ:
“Justice Antonin Scalia disputed the premise behind the lawsuit, telling Mr. Eliasberg that it was unfair to view the cross merely as a Christian symbol.
“The cross is the most common symbol of the resting place of the dead,” (Scalia) said. “What would you have them erect? Some conglomerate of a cross, a Star of David, and you know, a Muslim half moon and star?”
“I have been in Jewish cemeteries. There is never a cross on a tombstone of a Jew,” Mr. Eliasberg said. “So it is the most common symbol to honor Christians.”
“I don’t think you can leap from that to the conclusion that the only war dead that that cross honors are the Christian war dead,” Justice Scalia said. “I think that’s an outrageous conclusion.”
So now the cross is suddenly devoid of religious connotations? It is merely a big white "t"? I am not going to get to far into the cross discussion here, because I admittedly have mixed emotions about the subject. And its not my cross to bear. Christopher Columbus himself was a Colon and experts agree was probably jewish. There were many jews amongst the early residents to the continent. The framers took careful and precise steps to not endorse a state religion, principally being theists.
I live in the early of some of the earliest Spanish conquest, Cabrillo arriving on the shores of San Diego around September of 1542, spreading the good news of the savior and subjugating the local indians. Crosses are an important part of our historical landscape and do not offend me whatsoever. Yet crosses and creches in a public forum are burdensome to me and I don't know why the majority feels it important to invoke Jesus name at city council meetings for instance. It is heavy handed and insensitive to both alternate creeds and nonbelievers as well. The notion of a christian majority dictating the spiritual landscape by their superior numbers cuts across my grain. There is ample evidence of christian indoctrination occurring in our military, as has been most visibly demonstrated at the Air Force Academy.
Ditto deeding a small section of public land to a private group to "end around" laws separating the demarcation of church and state.
Anyway I was a bit surprised when one of my coffee klatch this morning, a longtime friend, let loose with, "if people aren't happy with it, find a new country." Because last time I checked this country was constructed for all of us, believers and nonbelievers. It is not your county but "our" country. Worship as you wish, whomever you wish to, or don't, but don't make us join in your religious observations on any public lands or in any governmental forum.
I hope that Justice Kennedy, who tends to be the swing vote in these decisions, will make a principled stand on this issue.
In other matters, Scalia weighed in favorably on the free speech rights of people who like to crush small animals with stiletto heels and videotape the proceedings.