Measured Against Reality

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Picking our battles

This is just stupid:

The fate of more than a dozen crosses honoring fallen UHP troopers was left in the hands of a federal court judge on Tuesday.

The issue was taken to court after a group of atheists sued the state claiming the crosses violate the constitutional separation of church and state. The group is now asking the Utah Highway Patrol Association to remove the 12 foot-crosses because they denote the death of Jesus Christ.

I'm against the intermingling of church and state, but come on people, crosses for dead policemen? Unless I'm missing something, like the policemen wouldn't have wanted the crosses or they're not put up near where the officers died, then this is just ridiculous. And even with those considerations, a cross as a memorial is not uncommon.

Suits like this do nothing to address the underlying problem of the crumbling wall of separation and damage the image of atheism. There are helpful suits and there are detrimental suits, and from what I can tell, this is one of the latter.

In fact, this reminds me of the insanity over Christmas every year. Why people get so wound up about it is beyond me, Christmas is manifestly not a religious holiday any more, and if you live in a country where the vast majority celebrate Christmas, why get bothered when someone says, "Merry Christmas"? This would be like getting mad if someone said "Have a happy fourth of July" and you weren't celebrating it. Who cares? Why does it matter?

The same goes for the crosses, they're not endorsing religion by putting a cross up for a fallen police officer. What are we going to go after next, the people who put crosses on the side of the road when a loved one dies? Those are on public ground, are they endorsing religion?

It's not that we shouldn't fight for the separation of church and state, we absolutely should, that hardly needs to be said. But we have to pick our battles, and this is one that, given what I gleaned from the article, we should have let slide.



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