Mormons settled the town of Pleasant Grove City, Utah, in 1850. Since 1971, the town’s “Pioneer Park” has featured the usual assortment of gardens, trees, and other historical relics, which sit alongside a massive permanent monument to the Ten Commandments—one of many such monuments donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles (working to reduce juvenile delinquency) and Cecil B. DeMille (working to promote his Charlton Heston movie The Ten Commandments). In 2003, Summum’s founder, Summum “Corky” Ra, requested permission to donate a monument to the park celebrating the Seven Aphorisms upon which their beliefs are based. (The Seven Aphorisms are, in brief: the principles of psychokinesis, correspondence, vibration, opposition, rhythm, cause and effect, and gender.) Summum holds that these aphorisms were revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai, but he demurred because his people were not yet ready for them. The Decalogue was the rewrite.
The Pleasant Grove City Council denied Summum’s request to erect a monument. Summum sued, alleging that their free speech rights had been violated because the city could not display the Ten Commandments while denying the Seven Aphorisms. They lost in federal district court, prevailed before a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit, and then blew the minds of the entire 10th Circuit, which ultimately declined to hear the case en banc. The city appealed.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggests that the difference between the Ten Commandments display in Utah and the permissible one in Texas is that the Texas monument had a “40-year history, and nobody seemed troubled by it.” Sekulow retorts that the Utah display has a 36-year history, at which point Justice Antonin Scalia chuckles, “I think 38 years is the cutoff.”
How is it that with the myriad of “civic history” that’s much more relevant to legal development than the Ten Commandments, these Christians always end up showcasing the one document alleged to be dictated by “God” and telling us to have no other gods but Him?
I mean, come on, we all know that “civic history” is an excuse — a lie. A lie made deliberately, because the defenders of this crap know they’re breaking the fundamental law of the land. The know they’re law breakers, they know they’re liars, but, hey, it’s for their God so that makes everything a-OK, and furthermore, now it would impolite and intolerant of us to expose their lying, because hey, they’re Good Christians™.
And if it is just pure “civic history”, why shouldn’t any other group be able to put up its version of “civic history”? Why is your monument so special? Oh, right, God dictated it.
Do you really think blatant law-breaking and lying about it and litigiousness over it makes Christianity look good? No, it makes Christians look like hypocrites, especially given that Jesus told you to render unto Caesar and pray in secret.
You’re free to put up whatever monuments you want in your churches, and we’ve even rebated all your taxes to make it easier on you, and yet you keep trying to break the law by putting your theology in our public places. Or change the law to take away people’s rights.
A lot of people of beginning to think that your religion has very little to do with the Sermon on the Mount or the Blood of Lamb, and its principle sacraments are hating gays and making in-your-face public nuisances. If that’s an unfair summary of Christianity (and it is) you have only your most vocal co-religionists to blame for it.