Sorry To Hear About Your Religious Symbols

I don’t think religions are going to appreciate having these symbols relegated to historical status.

Sympathies go out to religious people I know, since the Supreme Court ( SCOTUS ) determined the Christian Cross and the phrase ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ to be secular symbols. In the case of IN GOD WE TRUST and UNDER GOD in the Pledge, “lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.”. An interesting read from a past SCOTUS Case. Establishment Clause cases are complicated, that’s why they make it to the top of our justice system on a regular basis. It is a gamble to force the government to choose between religion and the Constitution. While it may look like they favored religion, by allowing once religious symbols like the Christian Cross and the phrase ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ to be put on public property, I don’t think religions are going to appreciate having these symbols relegated to historical status. While it is likely that some will be delighted with the additional public exposure, regardless of the cost, I think Religion will realize what a bad deal they got.

The court could have directly upheld the Constitution and recognized the symbols as substantially religious, and erected with the purpose of promoting a specific brand of religion. I suppose in a way, they did uphold the Constitution. They declared the symbols secular, so the issue of religious entanglement was moot. Dilemma solved.

It’s not all bad though. By deeming the symbol and phrase as secular, they helped to maintain the padding around the Constitutional line between religion and government. That means religious institutions can continue to get away with things like not having to report financial information to the IRS and reduced ( if any ) taxes on billions of dollars worth of church property. Well, not bad for Religion, the rest of us have to make up the tax shortfall. This is also briefly addressed in the link above. Like I said, complicated.

If Religion does not want to see its symbols and phrases treated in such a fashion, they could take the bold step of removing these symbols from spaces paid for with public money, in order to preserve whatever meaning they had before the Government was invited in for its 2 cents. There are countless private spaces for these symbols to occupy, in order to preserve their integrity. Or they could leave them up as a public secular symbol of a bygone era. I would advise the former. Either way, Religious symbols no longer on property paid for by all taxpayers.

Sorry for your loss, Religion. But, it is the government, what were you thinking?

John McClean

Midlothian Freethought

Another Midlothian Mirror LTE Rejected. (201909)

I submitted another ‘Letter To The Editor’ (LTE) to The Midlothian Mirror at the first of September. While the person I sent it to did respond thanking me for the submission, I have yet to see it appear in print or on the website. That person did not respond to my email inquiry to find out if it had been published.

My expectations were pretty low that it would see the light of day, but I wanted to give it a chance. The latest ‘Letters’ on the website ( that I could see) were from the first of this year. The print edition usually does not contain local LTE’s even though we live in a community that does not mind speaking up and the paper actively seeks submissions ( via a PO Box – how quaint ). What does appear in the print edition looks to be purchased from one of the news services. Only guessing either there is a shortage of local letters to publish or the letters that do come in are not published because of subject matter. It must be so bad that they fill the space from other papers. The last 2 weeks must have been especially bad, since the print edition from Oct 3rd and Oct 11th have the exact same letters printed from out-of-town sources. I am reminded why I only buy a few issues a year.

I can only guess that while they actively seek LTE’s, they censor what to accept to the extent that most people don’t qualify. Wonder what news we are missing, that may pull too many people out of their comfort zone?

Anyway, here is the apparently rejected letter.