Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Separation of Church and State?

So here I was Sunday morning, seated at the conference table in the ‘green room’ at the back of our church, tossing out my now-cold and over-sweetened coffee and nibbling away at a rum muffin. Fellow musicians, vocalists, and pastors were chattering about Saturday’s football game and the super-fantastic-and-wonderful sale that JCPenny had this weekend, while I was among those deep into the Sunday paper. On the front page, right next to a report on a local fire and the aforementioned football game, was what I found to be a both infuriating and disappointing article. You may read the original here, but for now I’ll give you the basic facts.

In 1934, a group of World War I veterans constructed a 7-foot cross in the High Desert of San Bernardino County as a tribute to those who died in the war. After the new assistant superintendant of the Mojave National Preserve saw the cross and contacted the ACLU about it, the Supreme Court is due to address the issue and whether or not the cross should be removed on Wednesday.

  • Noting that the land that the cross is on was originally PRIVATELY owned before transferred to a veterans’ association, does this count as GOVERNMENT property now?
  • Regardless of whether or not it is on public or government-owned property, is the cross’ presence an endorsement of the Christian faith? Does it violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution? (more on that in a later post)
  • Does the Supreme Court have the right to remove any religiously-associated symbol from any public place?
I turn these questions over to you now; but more than that, I encourage you to not only ask questions such as this to yourself, but to your peers and elders. What are their answers to these sorts of questions? I challenge you to ask someone about this issue this week, and see how they respond. Be respectful, stick to the facts, and let the rest of us here know what happened.

Question everything. Demand answers.

--REformation HQ
Meghan H.