We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Are these judges werewolves? Via Althouse. Supremes to decide:
The American Civil Liberties Union objected to the cross and filed a suit on behalf of Frank Bruno, a Catholic and former Park Service employee. The suit noted that the government had denied a request to have a Buddhist shrine erected near the cross.
Two years ago, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the ACLU and declared the cross an "impermissible governmental endorsement of religion."
Congress has intervened to try to save the cross by transferring a small parcel of land with the cross on it to a private group. However, the 9th circuit judges were unswayed. This "would leave a little donut hole of land with a cross in the midst of a vast federal preserve," the appeals court said.
The 9th said what? Article Vll: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
They should also cite the 14th. The 7th was originally intended to protect the established churches maintained by the various states. Seven of the original 13 had established churches when they ratified the Constitution. The Congregational Church was established in MA until the 1840s. The 14th amendment lay dormant like a ticking bomb until the Supremes used it to impose the establishment clause on the States. It's still ticking away waiting to reveal new surprises.
#1, you are right. In fact, we still have a local government building here where, if you look closely enough, you can still make out the engraved words "Christian Education" on the side (not completely sandblasted away). For a long time it was understood that the states and local governments had a lot more leeway in promoting religion (then generally meaning a generic Protestant Christianity) than they do now. No one thought twice about prayer in schools, or reading Bible verses at the beginning of the day. The 1947 Supreme Court case extending the 14th am. to state and local government religious support took that away and has now led us down the slippery slope to where nothing but atheism is acceptable in the public square.
So this whole debate about America not being a "Christian country" is somewhat misguided, since it is based on a modern understanding of the First Amendment, not the traditional understanding. To the extent the "wall of separation of church and state" ever existed, it was only between the federal government and the church.
Of course, there is good and bad to that. I sometimes shudder at what the government would be promoting if it were allowed to promote religion in the 21st century.
That would be the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. And note the words "...regarding an establishment of religion..." Refusing the establishment of a Bhuddist shrine gave the appearance of favoring Christianity because the cross had been allowed on government land.
Tradition applies in the case of cemeteries. Which, I must add, include the symbols of other faiths as well. You will find graves at military cemeteries marked with Jewish, Bhuddist, Wiccan, Hindu, any number of other symbols. Context comes into the picture here, for religion and religious expression is understood to be a private thing where we bury our dead. A context missing at a public venue intended for the enjoyment of the general public.
BTW, you're thinking of vampires. Werewolves have no problem with crosses in the stories I know.