Have You Noticed…

…that the good of the one far outweighs the good of the many, at least, it seems, in the eyes of our court system? Of course you have.

My son sent me this article about a picture posted in a courthouse lobby in Slidell, Louisiana. According to Pilgrim at the Say Anything, the picture in question is relatively small and hangs about twelve feet in the air. It has been hanging, it appears, for at least a decade. Fox News says:

The ACLU sued after the Slidell City Court refused to voluntarily remove the picture and a plaque below it that reads: “To Know Peace, Obey These Laws.” The ACLU says the portrait — an image of Jesus presenting the New Testament — is a religious icon of the Eastern Orthodox branch of Christianity.

“We did not file this lawsuit because the ACLU is anti-religion … We did file this lawsuit because we believe this display is clearly in violation of the law,” said Vincent Booth, president and acting executive director of the Louisiana ACLU chapter.

Really? This picture is a violation of the separation of church and state?  Then Pilgrim makes two pretty good points.  The first is that if separation is indeed what the ACLU wants, why is their suit filed in behalf of of someone who is unidentified? If “they” really believe they’re upholding the law, I would think “they” would be glad others knew who they were.  I mean, if “they” feel that strongly.  After all, the names of those who speak out in favor of religious displays seem to get published, don’t they? Pilgrim’s second point makes even more sense to me, especially since people from my church here in Indiana went to Slidell to help after Katrina:

The ACLU’s disdain for the impact of religion on our society is well known. I wonder just how many card carrying ACLU members stood in line with the rest of the great unwashed after their homes were destroyed by Katrina and accepted food and clothing from the Mormons, Catholics, and Baptists? I didn’t hear any protests from them about religion then and I was right smack dab in the middle of Katrina from the start till now.

Pilgrim, Say Anything

If you want complete separation, then maybe you shouldn’t take anything from a religious person including aid in times of crisis.  The point seems valid to me.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian civil rights group, has taken up the case for the city of Slidell. ADF’s senior legal counsel, Mike Johnson, says this:


The ideas expressed in this painting aren’t specific to any one faith, and they certainly don’t establish a single state religion…The reason Americans enjoy equal justice is because we are all ‘created equal, endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable rights.’ This painting is a clear reflection of the ideas in the Declaration of Independence.

In a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist confirmed, “Simply having religious content or promoting a message consistent with a religious doctrine does not run afoul of the Establishment Clause…. Examples of monuments and buildings reflecting the prominent role of religion abound. For example, the Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln memorials all contain explicit invocations of God’s importance. The apex of the Washington Monument is inscribed ‘Laus Deo,’ which is translated to mean ‘Praise be to God,’ and multiple memorial stones in the monument contain Biblical citations.”

Using the same arguments it brings to Slidell, will the ACLU advocate sandblasting the walls and halls of our nation’s capitol, including the chambers of the Supreme Court?

Of course not At least not in my opinion. But given the ACLU’s track record, maybe Johnson shouldn’t put the sandblasting idea in their head.

I am hoping the Alliance Defense Fund wins this case. Maybe we all should pray that the ADF wins so that, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “…government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Who knows? Maybe at least this time, what the majority wants WILL matter.

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2 Responses to “Have You Noticed…”


  1. 1 bullet September 13, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    The majority doesn’t get to dictate terms to the minority. The Bill of Rights was conceived specifically to prevent the “Tyranny of the Majority” or what is coloquially called “MOB RULE.”

  2. 2 Becky September 13, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    What about the common good?


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