Posted: Jun 15, 2001 12:00 AM
This week the Supreme Court upheld the right of religious groups to participate in the beautiful mosaic of after-school activities. No new territory was broken: The case was almost identical to another case in which the Supreme Court reversed the exact same court years ago. This was massive resistance.

Justice Clarence Thomas remarked on the oddity of having to reverse the same court twice, noting that while the appellate courts aren't required to cite all the Supreme Court's precedents, they might want to cite the last time they were reversed on the same facts.

At least the 6-3 decision gives us an accurate count of the atheists on the court, probably as accurate as my dream of giving them all polygraph tests someday. ("Do you believe in a Higher Being ... no, seriously.") Concerned someone might be reading Leviticus during school hours, Justice David Souter dissented in a hair-splitting exegesis about the precise time classes let out (2:56 p.m.), vs. the time the organizers would enter school property (2:30 p.m.).

The New York Times' obligatory hysterical denunciation of the decision revealingly complained: "(C)hildren that young are unlikely to discern that the religious message of authority figures who come to the school each day to teach does not carry the school's endorsement."

It is simply taken for granted that it's desirable for children to revere "authority figures" at government schools. Normally those authority figures are teaching the youngsters to put condoms on zucchini or training them in the catechism of recycling. Sending a mixed message about government "authority figures" might interfere with the state's ability to turn small children into Good Germans inculcated in the liberal religion.

It's well past time for liberalism to be declared a religion and banned from public schools. Allowing Christians to be one of many after-school groups induces hysteria not just because liberals hate religion. It's because the public school is their temple. Children must be taught to love Big Brother, welcoming him to take over our schools, our bank accounts, our property, even our toilet bowls.

We're told the First Amendment requires a separation of church and state, which, just as an incidental matter, is completely false. The whole point of the Constitution is to separate the federal government from the individual.

In keeping with the general theme, the First Amendment provides that Congress cannot establish a religion -- but nor can it stop the states from establishing religions. That's why it says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Dear Congress: You may be eligible for a free country. You do nothing.

The only thing that tempers my annoyance with the canard about states not being allowed to establish religions is imagining the kind of established religion we'd have in New York. We'd be doing daily devotionals to Saint Hillary.

Still, it is a fact that when the First Amendment was ratified, several states had established religions. Fortunately for the burgeoning minority religions in those states, the established religions were things like "Episcopalianism" and "Congregationalism" rather than "Liberalism."

It's hard to imagine now, but before the official government religion was liberalism -- devoted to class warfare, ethnic hatred and intolerance -- Americans were kind to one another. They managed to get along even without ACLU lawsuits. Thus, when there were enough practitioners of other faiths in a state to be bothered by the established religion, the majority just disestablished themselves.

Back to the New Country: Two malcontents at the Virginia Military Institute recently sued to ban VMI's tradition of saying a non-denominational prayer at mealtime. The cadets are not required to recite the prayer or even bow their heads. Merely having to stand while listening to an invocation of God is apparently very upsetting for them. (I'd hate to see these guys under fire.)

A typical rendition of the VMI dinner prayer goes like this: "Almighty God, we give our thanks for VMI, for its reputation, spirit and ideals. Let your favor continue toward our school and your grace be abundantly supplied to the Corps. Now, O God, we receive this food and share this meal together with thanksgiving."

It doesn't get any more sectarian than that. How about: "Designer of the Universe (if you're out there) ..."

Religious people keep cheerfully going back and trying to formulate some prayer that won't make liberals angry. But the problem won't go away. No prayer that assumes a belief in a Higher Being will ever be acceptable. God has no part in the religion of sex education, environmentalism, feminism, Marxism and loving Big Brother.

In a totally unsurprising development, liberals finally suspended their opposition to the death penalty in the case of Timothy McVeigh. He was the sworn enemy of the established religion of Big Brother. Too bad he never stumbled into one of those after-school Christian meetings.