Couldn’t resist. Sorry. The Summum Christian Gnostic sect is in the news again in Utah regarding their continued quest to erect their Seven Aphorisms monument in the same park where the ten commandments are proudly displayed. From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Geoffrey Surtees, a lawyer for Pleasant Grove, argued that the Ten Commandments display in the city’s Pioneer Park conveys a secular historical message, which the U.S. Supreme Court has said is permissible.
But Summun’s attorney, Brian Barnard, contended that the monument advances religion and that Pleasant Grove must give other religious messages equal consideration.
“They are a mandate from God, the Judeo-Christian God,” Barnard said of the Ten Commandments.
Kimball said he will issue a ruling later in the dispute, which has garnered national attention.
Try international attention. Atheists the world over love stories like this, I’m sure. That’s why I’m writing about these guys again. They’re sure keen, aren’t they?
The group sued Pleasant Grove in 2005 over its refusal to let it put up its monument.
After a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson blocked Summum from erecting a monument while the case was pending, the lawsuit went to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Denver-based court ruled that the city had to permit Summum’s display to further free speech
The city said, “Fuck that shit!” and appealed the ruling, with the Supreme court caving in like a startled souffle.
in a 2009 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Summum’s free expression rights had not been violated. The court said municipalities have a right to select monuments that reflect the local aesthetics, history or culture.
The Utah Federal court still needs to determine whether or not Pleasant Hill is in violation of the Establishment Clause, that part of the First Amendment concerned with prohibiting federal governments from “declaring and financially supporting a national religion” etc. I’m thinking the courts will still go their way. Heaven forbid anyone actively encourage another way to think, even if it might predate whatever version of Christianity or other cult is currently the state favourite.