First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Polar Vortex In Legal Hell Before Satanists Get Monument In Oklahoma

Satan worshipers want to put a 7-foot monument to Satan (technically a horned dude named Baphomet) on the Oklahoma capital grounds.  They say it will complement a privately-funded 10 Commandments monument that was possessed and installed by the Oklahoma Legislature a few years ago.  The ACLU sued to have that monument exorcised from the capital.  It was a bad omen for the Satanists that, pending the ACLU's suit, legislators collectively said "no damn way," putting a pitch fork in any plans to put up any other monuments.

"Like H-E-double-hockey-sticks," say the Satanists and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (no, I'm not making that up ... here is their website in case you want to join ... you can become an ordained Pastafarian minister for only $20!). 

So, do the Satanists have a legal shot in hell at getting their monument?  The devil is in the details, but -- basically -- no, they don't. 

The US Supreme Court recently held unanimously in City of Pleasant Grove v. Summum, that a local government may choose to put up a 10 Commandments monument, but decline to put up another religiously-oriented monument in a public space.  Although the Pleasant Grove case was technically decided on Free Speech Clause grounds, a majority of the Court stated that they saw no violation of the First Amendment's clause forbidding the establishment of religion.

There is a better chance that the ACLU will succeed in showing that there ought to be no new religiously-based monument on the Oklahoma state capital grounds ... not even one of the 10 Commandments.  Ah ... maybe that's the point!!! Maybe the Satanists are really just the devil's advocate.  They may lack soul, but they are fiendishly clever! 

PS - Please forgive me.  Am I going to burn for all the bad puns in this post?  You know who made me do it ...

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