Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ACLU wins in Slidell Jesus debacle

So the Slidell Jesus issue is finally resolved. This is a solid win for all who believe in the Bill of Rights and the priority it takes above any and all religions, even in a community which seems to think otherwise.

The new display was finished on August 31 (one week before the court date) and still has the picture of Jesus, but also has other "lawgivers", as well, including Hammurabi, Confucious, Mohammed, Charlemagne, Napoleon, and Louis IX. Jesus no longer holds what is now the center of the display. In that space is a copy of the Constitution, which should have been there all along. Jesus, appropriately, has been moved to the far right.

Of course the Alliance Defense Fund is claiming victory.

“The court today recognized that the First Amendment allows public officials,
and not the ACLU, to determine what is appropriate for acknowledging our
nation’s legal and cultural heritage,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Mike
. “The ACLU’s sole and stated objective in this case was to have the
Jesus painting removed. But the Constitution does not prohibit public buildings
from memorializing great figures from our history.”

The Associated Press article tells a different story.

"U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle said he would have ordered the
picture removed had it remained prominently on display by itself..."

The ADF should be forgiven the attempt to save face, even if the blatant spin won't be accepted by anyone outside the Christian community. But since the display was changed because of the lawsuit, expect them to be further chagrined when the ACLU successfully recovers its legal fees on October 18th.

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