Separation of Church and State: Absurd Decisions

From the June 2006 Trumpet Print Edition

1947

The Statement

Judge Black said that no amount of tax money, however large or small, could be used to support any religious activities or institutions.

The Result

Public services, freely available to any other citizen, can be denied to the religious. For instance, in 2004, the court ruled that a state could bar a scholarship student from pursuing a degree in theology, but not any other type of degree.

Why It’s Absurd

The implications are ridiculous. For example, if a cleric had a heart attack while preaching, he could not use a public ambulance to go to the hospital.

2002

The Statement

Judge Myron Thompson ruled that the state cannot legally acknowledge God. The Supreme Court chose to let the ruling stand.

The Result

A 5,280-pound statue in the Alabama Supreme Court rotunda (pictured at left) had to be removed, because it contained the Ten Commandments.

Why It’s Absurd

The Declaration of Independence (which mentions God) as well as all U.S. currency (bearing the motto “In God We Trust”) both disagree with Thompson’s statement.