Another 5-4 decision, another step backward for American Civilization. In Greece v Galloway the Supreme Court’s 5
catholics conservatives decided it was no biggie if a town begins ALL of its monthly board meetings with a Christian prayer. Why didnt the town of Greece, New York start its meetings with other sorts of prayers? ‘Cause Those Other People (AKA Their Kind) dont live within the town limits, y’all.
But – you may be wondering – if some poor Jew or Muslim happened to attend, say, a DECADE’s worth of town meetings, to be subjected at EVERY occasion to references to spirits, jesuses, easter bunnies, crucifixes and archangels – they might get to thinking, WTF, this mother&%*#ing town went all medieval and established a religion! Not to worry, Anthony Kennedy reassures us. That sort of junk’s been goin’ down since way back in the day when the 1st amendment got written, and so therefore it’s a-ok today. Even if it’s awkward as hellfire to be a Hindu in upstate New York, Hindus just gotta roll with it – amen.
That may sound like idiocy masquerading as legal reasoning. So to be safe, Clarence Thomas attached a classic Thomasian concurrence that’s so batshit crazy, it makes Kennedy look like a transcendental poet by comparison. (Thomas has been lending Kennedy an illusory competence for years.) Having devoted his career to justifying prison beatings under the 8th amendment (not a joke), Thomas outdoes himself by asserting that the 1st amendment’s establishment clause does NOT protect an individual right, but rather protects the state’s right to establish a religion, free from the federal government’s meddling. (Scary – and still not a joke.) Thomas warms up with the deep thought that the establishment clause “probably prohibits Congress from establishing a national religion.” – Which is probably a relief. He goes on to complain that “applying the Clause against the States eliminates their right to establish a religion free from federal interference.”
Waiting for Jamie Farr to bang the gong and end the gag? Sorry, folks – It’s real. In Greece v. Galloway, the majority opinion, penned by Anthony Kennedy and now the law of the land, holds that it’s okay for a town to begin ALL of its meetings with a prayer from a single denomination – a prayer as colorful and-or grotesque to nonbelievers as you want, with Jesus-on-the-Cross, Mohammed-on-the-Virgin, Shiva-on-the-Rampage, etc – you couldnt overdo it if you wanted. And if you, Jane Q. Citizen, happen to be in attendance, and maybe feel a tad squirmy about whether to stand, kneel, bow your head, make the sign of the cross, sit in lotus, or turn to the east and touch your nose to the carpet – Kennedy says suck it up, cuz that’s life in (18th cent.) America, babes. If Clarence Thomas had his way, the state you live in could just as well establish Islam as the official religion, so if you dont like it, you can pack your sorry second-class citizen self and move to Canada or Holland or some other place with a real, functioning Bill of Rights.
Or, as Andy Borowitz put it, “In Landmark Decision, Supreme Court Strikes Down Main Reason Country Was Started.”