Thursday, January 23, 2014

Unpopular, But Equally Valid per the Constitution

Courtesy of The Raw Story from a couple weeks ago:

The Satanic Temple, a religious group based in New York City, on Monday unveiled their design for a monument they hope to erect at the Oklahoma Statehouse.
The 7-foot-tall monument would include a goat-headed Baphomet figure sitting cross-legged on a stone slab, flanked by two smiling children. The monument would also include quotes from poets Lord Byron and William Blake.
“The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond. The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures. The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation,” spokesman Lucien Greaves explained.
The group offered to donate a monument last month, after State Rep. Mike Ritze (R-Broken Arrow) and conservative Christians were allowed to erect a Ten Commandments monument on the statehouse grounds.
Lawmakers in Oklahoma, however, have insisted that the Satanists should not be given the same treatment as Christians.
“This is a faith-based nation and a faith-based state,” Rep. Earl Sears (R-Bartlesville) said. “I think it is very offensive they would contemplate or even have this kind of conversation.” 

But....that pesky First Amendment to the Constitution says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
 So, the Satanists or Muslims or the Ku Klux Klan or skinheads or anybody else that may be espousing unpopular (i.e., non-majority opinions) certainly deserve equal protection to express their views. 

We just can't say that because the U.S. is historically a Christian nation we will allow Christian symbologies but none other.  Wrong, and it takes an extreme case like this one to point that out.

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