In addition to being a useful prop for pushing gun control, the massacre at Littleton, Colorado’s Columbine High School, turned out to be a bottomless bonanza for other pet causes of liberalism. While grieving members of the community are planning a memorial in honor of the victims, others are busy planning how to exploit the memorial to push what they like to call the “separation of church and state.”
The Littleton incident has excited this kind of controversy from the first, when a local carpenter constructed several crosses as memorials to the victims of last month’s vicious shootings at the high school. Some in the community didn’t like the crosses because they suggested a bit too much religion in general — not to mention a bit too much of the wrong religion in particular.
Now a local public park is planning to build a more permanent memorial with an explicitly Christian or Biblical theme. Most people believe that such a theme would be appropriate, since several of the murder victims at the high school were explicit Christians. At least two of the girls murdered were asked by the killers whether they believed in God; when they answered yes, they were shot.
But not everyone thinks it’s appropriate. When a memorial service held recently turned out to be very explicitly Christian, what The Washington Times calls “several liberal Christian, Jewish, and black leaders” found it “offensive” and met with Colorado governor Bill Owens to complain. They’re not the only pillars of the community to do so.
Another complainer is a group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which apparently is dedicated to the view that religion itself — not just religion supported by the state — is a force from which we need to be emancipated. “We object to religious displays in public parks,” the group’s state coordinator says. “Let them put a religious memorial on church or private property.” Since the members of his group think religion itself is evil, they probably don’t really approve of that either, but so far the U.S. Constitution has not evolved to the point that they can do anything about it.
But it may well have evolved to the point that they can stop the community from building an explicitly religious memorial to the devout students murdered for their faith. “I know there are some people who would like to see a religious memorial,” the park’s manager of community services says. “[But] if the location for the permanent memorial is a public place, then we can’t do it by law. The Constitution won’t permit it,” he states.
The manager, you see, has had his mind well warped by the anti-constitutionalist dogma that holds that only the Supreme Court can interpret the Constitution and that whatever the Court says is right. If you substitute “Joseph Stalin” for “Supreme Court” in the previous sentence, you would have an accurate description of the constitution of a totalitarian state. That’s exactly where the dogma is leading us, with a little help from the organized enemies of religion in and out of government.
Of course the Constitution says nothing at all like what the manager has been told—and is dumb enough to believe—it says. What the First Amendment actually says is that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
There is nothing in the constitutional text about not being able to display religious objects in public places or build memorials in public parks with religious themes—or, for that matter, to pray in schools, display the Ten Commandments in a courtroom, build manger scenes at Christmas, or sing Christmas carols and other religious songs.
Every bit of that stuff was simply fabricated by the Supreme Court and the lawyers for religion-haters like the Freedom from Religion Foundation. It flourishes today for the sole reason that boobs like the manager of community services quoted above are dim enough to believe and do what they are told to believe and do.
How the Littleton dispute will be resolved no one knows, but most of us can make a pretty good guess. No matter how devout the murdered teenagers were, no matter how much their families and friends and community grieve for them and wish to commemorate them in ways that reflect what they believed in and were ready to die for, and no matter what the Constitution really says or what common decency and common sense demand — it will be the enemies of religion and the real Constitution who win.
That’s because those enemies possess more will and more energy than those who want to preserve their constitutional freedom and practice their religion. And until that changes, we can expect the totalitarianism those enemies have helped create to continue to flourish.