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This are be another comment turned it is to this here blog post.

12/22/2008

http://www.alan.com/2008/12/21/biden-isnt-asking-cheney-for-vp-advice/

I believe Mason’s contending that if excluding religious expression is, or can be reasonably inferred as, an unconstitutional respecting of the included religion, singling out one religion for ridicule in a place funded by government, i.e., tax payers, implies the same sort of unconstitutional respecting of the religions not so derided.

She has an interesting argument, though the apparent partiality present in both cases is more relevant in the case of courts of law, since its existence is more detrimental to our right to a fair trial, whereas partiality in the other case is mainly of the personal offense variety, and can understandably be seen as an ethically improper use of tax payers’ dollars.

The greater difficulty in determining whereat there may be allowances for religious expressions, comes in deciding the propriety of Nativity scenes, and such, on open public lands, as allowing them does imply favoritism for Christianity, but not partiality of the kind which can be seen as evidence of probable corruption against non Christian persons, as is more likely the case if it and other Christian religious symbols are in courts of law, etc. But the opennesss of such scenes implies also cultural favoritism, not just religious, as it is promotional, by its very presence, of a single religion, hence the need for myriad religions to be represented, a task probably easier accepted than done. If the culture presents itself as Christian, those who are not, may respond by repressing themselves in order to not offend the apparent majority.

I don’t believe funding of museums by government or, as the source of government revenue, us, gives it carte blanche to prevent expressions of the “offensive” variety from being showcased in museums, as such places have the express purposes of being both places of historical learning, and of artistic expression, and are not placed into the nearly unavoidable view of some of the public, among which may be many person who are disapproving of the presence of Christian symbols on lands which they might well see as places where there should be neutrality on the matter of religion. Whether there should even be government/tax payer funding of museums is a matter I’m presently undecided on, though I lean in favor of it, mainly for the loss to our culture.

So long as government does not try to exlude art which speaks directly in favor of Christianity or in opposition to other religions, it, by not abusing the authority it assumes to be conferred upon it by virtue of its partial, even full, funding of museums, and by allowing the free expression of artists therein, does not violate the constitutional clause against respecting an establishment of religion. This is so because the free expression of the people, which may not also be assumed as the expression of government, superceeds any implied religious favoritism, or disfavoritism, implied by its allowance.

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