Originally created 11/27/02

Monumental mistake



Nowhere is the case for separation of church and state made more convincingly than under Iran's brutal theocracy. An academic there has been sentenced to death for merely questioning the ruling clergy's hard-line interpretation of Islam.

No one wants that kind of government-stamped religion here.

But the fact is, in the United States the danger is quite the opposite: drawing such a separation between church and state that religion itself is publicly outlawed.

That's not an exaggeration by any means.

Some schools over the years have barred religious-oriented student groups from using school facilities. Courts have attempted to bar graduation speakers from mentioning God (despite the students' constitutionally protected right to free exercise of their religion).

And now, an Alabama judge himself is accused of running afoul of the law by - get this - placing a monument to the Ten Commandments at the state Judicial Center.

And in Cincinnati, a federal appeals court has ordered the removal of the Ten Commandments from four southern Ohio high schools.

A federal judge has given Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore 30 days to remove the 5,300-pound granite structure at the state judicial center.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson said the Ten Commandments represent an "excessive government entanglement with religion."

Unbelievable.

This, despite the fact that our very system of law sits on the foundation laid out by the Ten Commandments. This, despite the fact that it is sheer lunacy to propose that a granite monument to one of the documents fundamental to the founding of this country is, in any way, an "an establishment of religion" as envisioned by the openly religious Founding Fathers.

These misguided rulings go far beyond any intent of the framers of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It's some perverted view that the Constitution requires a "freedom from religion." Nothing in the Constitution or the words of our Founding Fathers even suggests such a thing. And it is beyond preposterous to maintain that a monument is capable of establishing a religion.

The Ten Commandments aren't a religion; they are a morals-based code of ethics. And there is no earthly reason to purge the public stage of all mention of a higher power.

When people tell pollsters that they disagree with the direction the country is headed, nonsense such as this is exactly why.