The Jackson City School District, located in Jackson, reached a deal on Friday after the ACLU, along with the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, sued the district in February, citing “unconstitutional” actions and charging that students and visitors to the school “will continue to suffer permanent, severe and irreparable harm and injury,” according to the lawsuit.
You read that correctly. The First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty is “unconstitutional” according the Constitution’s righteous guardians at the ACLU. George Orwell would have called the organization the Ministry of Constitutional Preservation.
I know this will piss off my few remaining Socon readers, but what the hell.
The constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion is not violated by this ruling.
The right to practice your religion freely is not being violated here, and continues to be guaranteed, as it should be. However, the right to impose your religion on others against their wishes is not, and never has, been guaranteed, nor should it be. If you force me to participate in your religion, however indirectly, against my will, then you are initiating force against me, and that is anathema to liberty.
I have learned over the years that this notion is simply impossible to get through the the world-view of the faithfully religious, because they simply are unable to imagine anything they might wish to do anent their religion as being in any way circumscribed. After all, God/Jesus/Allah/Buddha/Yahweh/Brahma requires it, right? Therefore, how can it be wrong, and how can any effort to circumscribe such acts be anything other than evil?
Do I think Christmas Mangers on the courthouse lawn, or pictures of Jesus on a school wall, are a deadly threat to American liberty? No, of course not. But I do think the underlying justification for such things is, and always has been.
UPDATE: Don Sensing comes up with what he thinks is a zinger of an argument:
But as I wrote last February about this case, maybe the district should have just denied that the portrait was of Jesus at all and make the ACLU prove it knows what Jesus looked like.
On the other hand, the “Jesus was a historical figure, so it’s okay to put him in the mural” can have a crack at proving that he even existed. Good luck with that.
Of course, Don can also try to deal with the problem of identification: It doesn’t matter what the picture looks like, as long as it is identified as being Jesus. There are pictures of black Jesuses, Asian ones, and probably as many depictions as there are sum-sections of the faithful. So…maybe if you called the picture “John Doe?” Of course, then it wouldn’t be of a “historical figure.”