Here's my take on the Ten Commandments controversy in Alabama.
The state’s defrocked Chief Justice, Roy Moore (search), needs to back off. Federal courts get to decide what counts as constitutional and they've spoken. Nevertheless, I'm glad he picked the fight. The courts have made a hash of things in recent decades by treating the mere belief in and mention of God as a form of terrorism.
The theory seems to be that religion is dangerous: It permits schemers to con gullible saps into believing in miracles, hoodwinking them into donating money to see proof and threatening awful punishment if the suckers fail to pay. Of course, the same could be said of the Internal Revenue Code and virtually every federal agency charged with social improvement.
If a hick preacher tried to pull a con as costly and failed as the war on poverty, he'd spend his life taking meals through a slot in the solitary cell.
Talk about double standards: It's unconstitutional to give offense by propounding faith, but laudable to give offense through sacrilege.
Judges have given churchmen the boot, only to hand the vestments to someone with true oppressive power -- Uncle Sam. This week, thousands in Washington are commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.'s majestic "I have a dream speech" -- an address drenched in religious allusion and delivered on public property. Am I the only one who sees irony here?
Frankly, I'd rather risk the counsel of the Ten Commandments, which advocate humility before God and uprightness before society, than follow sages who claim they can heal kids' spiritual wounds by teaching them how to stretch prophylactic devices over cucumbers, members of the squash family and an assortment of tree-ripened tropical fruits.
The Supreme Court, having gotten into the business of religious suppression, needs to make it clear where the right to free religious speech ends. For a court whose chambers are bedecked with Biblical verses to deny the same rights to other public facilities not only is rank hypocrisy, but miserable law.