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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Judaism established as the official religion of Florida

At least that’s what the ACLU is claiming.

The implications of this case are, as whenever the ACLU enlarges the reach of their bloatedly engorged Establishment Clause, are starkly frightening. If the governor is forced to remove his mezuzah, then by the same argument, all public officials would be prohibited from free religious expression at the workplace. Likewise could the governor be prohibited from "religious endorsement" not only in his office but in all official circumstances. Is there a gap there? Certainly, the ACLU has (and with this case, is) bridged greater gaps before.
--Daniel Christianson

Via StopTheACLU: That would have to be what the ACLU means when it says Governor Crist has violated the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment, isn’t it?

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Charlie Crist views it as a sign of respect, but, for some, the mezuzah hanging outside his Capitol office has morphed into a controversial symbol….By hanging the mezuzah outside his office, Crist has effectively granted the government’s endorsement of a religious symbol, [Florida ACLU director] Simon said. In order not to discriminate against other religions, Simon said, Crist is now obligated to display icons of other religions or even those representing atheism.

At least the Florida ACLU has finally cleared that up and admitted that atheism is a religion. That’s a positive.

Crist hung the mezuzah, made of Jerusalem stone, outside his office after receiving it as a gift from Rep. Adam Hasner, a Jewish Delray Beach Republican who accompanied the governor on a recent trade mission to Israel.

Hasner bought the mezuzah, which contains a sacred script from the Torah honoring the 10 Commandments, in Israel and presented it to Crist after they returned to Florida….

At least one other Jewish lawmaker doesn’t see what the fuss is all about.

“I know a lot of people, Jews and Christians and Muslims, who put these on their door. It’s a good luck sign. For some people it has religious meaning. But I don’t think there’s anything improper about it. I don’t think it’s intended to proselytize,” said Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, who also traveled with Crist to Israel. “I don’t think there’s anything inappropriate about it.”…

“Not really. No, candidly. I understand the notion of separation of church and state. But you have a freedom of religion, not a freedom from religion. All I’m doing is attempting to be respectful and grateful,” said Crist, adding that he has no intention of removing the mezuzah from his office doorway.

“That’s a little surprising given the fact that he used to be the attorney general,” Simon said, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court issued a series of recent rulings prohibiting courts from displaying the 10 Commandments and restricting governmental displays of religious symbols.

Simon says: the Supreme Court has prohibited this. I lose this round of Simon says, because I don’t read recent Supreme Court cases to do any such thing.

There is little point in noting that the ACLU’s positions on the Establishment Clause are getting absurd. They passed absurd a long time ago. One wonders if the Governor would be allowed to have the item inside his office. What about a photograph in his office in which a Star of David appears?

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