Supreme Court Rules Against Summum Monument
The US Supreme Court has ruled against the Summum religion’s request to place a monument in a public park. It may sound all apropos, except that there’s already another religious monument in the park, a Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments that the city did approve. That, is not so cool (favoring an establishment of religion).
The court ruled the when a city chooses to place a privately donated monument on public land, it is a demonstration of their (the city’s) free speech and they need not accommodate other messages.
Why is this important? Because, it is allowing local government
the right to discriminate base on religion. It would be up to the city to decide that one particular monument is appropriate for their community and another is not.
The decision is raising concern among some analysts that it might encourage government officials to approve religious displays on public land. ”
“Government has no business erecting, maintaining, or promoting religious symbols or codes,” said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. “The answer in this case is to remove the Ten Commandments from the public park, not compound the problem by adding more sectarian material,” he said in statement.
As I noted in an earlier blog, this case was odd because it was not tried under the establishment clause, it was tried over free speech. Because of this, the religious aspect of the 10 Commandments monuments were downplayed during the trial. Instead, the defense claimed that the 10 Commandments were of an historical significance to the US (how? did Moses get lost coming down from Sinai?).
And you may ask yourself, who are the Summums?
They are a religion based on “sightings” by Summum Bonum Amon Ra, aka Claude “Corky” Nowell. “Corky” saw the “Summa Individuals” in 1975 and … they told him some things, I guess. And people believed him. Similar to Paul the Apostle in the Christian myths.
They Monument they wanted to display was a list of “Seven Aphorisms” that they claim Moses brought down along with the 10 C’s from Sinai (hey, why not. Prove them wrong, folks, prove them wrong)
They are big into mummification and provide the service (you don’t have to be a member of their religion).