Rapt attention

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Crosses and Supremes

San Diego Mission de Alcala
The Supreme Court is allowing the continued display of crosses and religious symbols on public land.

It ruled that a large cross on government land in Maryland does not have to be moved or altered in the name of church-state separation.

The 40-foot cross was erected nearly a century ago as a World War I memorial.

The opinion by Associate Justice Samuel Alito concluded that the display does not violate the Constitution's establishment clause because of its longevity and the multiple messages these crosses may represent. The vote was 7-2, with Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting.

I agree with this decision. Crosses don't bother me, in fact I think that properly placed they can be quite pretty. And like them or not, they are a part of the historical fabric of our land, especially here in the southwest where they predate our constitution by about two hundred and thirty years, since Cabrillo landed his boat.

SCOTUS refers to them as "passive religious displays." I am not a person of faith, personally preferring to study psychology and anthropology but why should they be a threat to me? Unless you come for me with torches and pitchforks or try to overly restrict my behavior, your belief system if of no concern to me. And I must say, I lived on Mt. Helix for a while as a kid, always thought the cross was lovely.

When I was in boarding school as a thirteen year old I guess I got my first spiritual teacher. Later turned out to be a real prick but that's another story. Anyway he was reading buddhist tracts and introduced me to the concept of dualism. If you are virulently against something you are probably still very attached to it. People freaked out by crosses need to examine their personal motivations.

If you are a member of a religious minority in this country and feel outgunned by all these christian symbols you are fighting a losing war. But take solace that for better or for worse the number of those that state nonbeliever in polling are the fastest growing religious demographic. Or should I say, the cavalry is on the way and the calvary is in retreat?

1 comment:

Ken Seals said...

Ref last sentence: I hope so!