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An article by Contributing Editor Susan Humphreys:

"Here We Go Again:" A novel
interpretation of church-state
separation, and what to do about it:

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An article on the AlterNet website, reports that Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch says "no American can challenge a Christian religious display on government property." 1

Possibly the reason for this is that "He claims that because 'their only injury is that they take offense'." And I surmise that being "offended" isn’t enough to warrant a legal challenge.

Another possible bit of reasoning is that a simple display is not establishing a state religion.

I think Justice Gorsuch should reconsider his arguments because what is good for the gander can also be good for the goose! Or to put it another way -- two can play at this game!

Secularists, Atheists and Humanists need to act smarter, less confrontational. They simply need to devise their own plaque or a monument to place on government property.

I envision a monument containing the Code of Hamurabi, the code of Ashoka the Great, and the Ten Commandments. This could be in the form of a three sided obelisk, or with the three codes on a single monument, or three monuments side-by-side.

IF Christians really aren’t trying to promote Christianity and IF Justice Gorsuch reasoning holds -- being offended isn’t justification for objecting to a monument. IF, as I surmise, he also claims that such a monument isn’t promoting religion, then there can be no objection to the monument or plaque that I suggest.

My second suggestion is a Peace Obelisk that is covered with symbols from many different religions (past and present) and secular philosophies. It could include:

  • a double helix, Pi, or the atomic symbol to represent science.
  • mathematical symbols such as the one for infinity.
  • the Greek letters for Alpha and Omega,
  • the Chinese symbol for earth or heaven and/or Tao,
  • the Buddhist symbol of a wheel surrounded by flames,
  • an Aladdin style or old Hebrew style oil lamp,
  • a Big Bear and a spiral sun disc,
  • a Zia sun symbol,
  • a Six sided star,
  • an upside down cross,
  • the Egyptian cross,
  • a swastika,
  • etc.

A google search for religious symbols turns up plenty of examples to choose from. The Religious Symbols web site lists a bunch.

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One man in the online discussion of the AlterNet article suggested adding a Dollar Sign!

This Peace Obelisk doesn’t promote any religion or secular philosophy. It simply acknowledges the great diversity of ideas and ideals that have influenced human societies.

A third suggestion is a plaque or monument with the many different wordings from many different religions and cultures of the Golden Rule showing how this simple teaching has been common across many cultures. The world would be in a whole lot better place if people actually practiced this one simple teaching!

One expression of the rule is: "Do not do to others what you would take unkindly from them"!

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "something Rmuse," "Justice Neil Gorsuch says no-one can sue to stop the government from establishing religion," 2019-MAR-28, at: https://www.alternet.org/

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How you may have arrived here:

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Original posting: 2019-APR-08
Author: Contributing Editor Susan Humphreys
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