The ACLU got word of a Ten Commandments monument in a public park in Plattsmouth, Neb. (pop. 7,000), and immediately swooped in to demand that the offensive symbol be removed. Not being from New York, Plattsmouth didn't want to litigate. Soon cranes were in the park ripping out a monument that had sat there, not bothering anyone, for 40 years.
ACLU busybodies sued Johnson County, Iowa, demanding that it remove a Ten Commandments monument that had been in a public courtyard a since 1964. Within a year, the 2,500-pound granite monument was gone.
Mail-order minister Barry Lynn's Americans United for Separation of Church and State – a group curiously devoid of both Americans and churchgoers – sued little Chester County, Pa., demanding that it remove a Ten Commandments plaque that has hung on the courthouse wall since 1920.
"The Upper West Side and Malibu United" also sued the city of Everett, Wash., demanding the removal of a Ten Commandments monument in front of the police station. AU legal director Ayesha Khan explained they had nothing like that back in Pakistan and look how well things turned out there.
(Perhaps in addition to the usual processing requirements for new immigrants, there should be a form that says: Welcome to America! You will no longer have to live in a mud hut, earn 32 cents a year, and have members of your family periodically dragged off and shot. However, you may, on occasion, have to see people praying.)
The alleged legal basis for removing all of these Ten Commandments monuments is the establishment clause of the First Amendment. That clause provides: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." The vigilant observer will note instantly that none of the monuments cases involves Congress, a law or an establishment of religion.
Monuments are not "laws," the Plattsmouth, Neb., public park is not "Congress," and the Ten Commandments are not a religion. To the contrary, all three major religions believe in Moses and the Ten Commandments. Liberals might as well say the establishment clause prohibits Republicans from breathing, as that it prohibits a Ten Commandments display. But over the past few years, courts have ordered the removal of dozens and dozens of Ten Commandments displays.
How a local judge acknowledging a higher power with a symbol used by all three major religions is the same as Congress establishing a national religion remains a legal mystery – like, how the University of Michigan can use one admissions standard for blacks and another for whites and yet it's not race discrimination.
How about a truce? The intolerant religious fanatics in the red states will continue not complaining about high taxes, secular education and gay-rights parades in the blue states, and the proponents of tolerance in the blue states will stop bothering everyone in the red states.