A Modern Fable
René Descartes (1596–1650). Discourse on Method.
Porcupine likes walking the New Fleet Street of the Blogosphere. Oh, it’s not the same as the narrow alleys I was familiar with – somewhat less manure, no decent coffeehouses – but still, the contagious symbiosis of thought and rumor is still there as in my pamphlet-making days.
Occasionally, while perambulating these cyber-streets, Porcupine is brought up short by a post on another site. Thus, while visiting the other day at the most excellent Ogre’s Politics & Views, Porcupine was brought up short by this post:
A self-proclaimed "expert" from Duke University, with all the usual "holier than thou" attitudes and ivory tower proclamations has declared, with an expected immediate deference to his much-more-knowledgeable-than-you ruling, that mentioning that evolution might not actually be 100% correct is unconstitutional.
This is just another liberal who has decided that he knows better than you and should be obeyed at all times. He claims that mentioning anything other than his one, true religion, materialism, in government-run schools is a violation of his right to free speech because his religion (naturalism) is correct and all other religions should not be allowed in any government institution.
In a related, but underreported lawsuit, an unnamed individual has sued the state of North Carolina, demanding that the laws against murder be repealed because they are very clearly an unconstitutional infringement on religion and an establishment of religion. "The Bible clearly states that 'Thou shall not murder,'" says the lawsuit, filed today in Loon County, "so the state simply cannot have that law. It is an obvious attempt by Christians to enforce their own moral and religious rules on the rest of society."
The lawsuit continues, "In addition, this prohibition on to what
many deem to be a sacred religious right, murdering infidels, clearly prohibits law abiding citizens from exercising their own religion. If one person's religion deems that murder is required by their god, who is the state to tell them their religion is wrong?"
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on both lawsuits simultaneously, as the ruling in one lawsuit will most certainly be expected to be applied to both.
Porcupine was amazed. The logic was so clear. If God has no place on currency or in our Pledge of Allegiance, if the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed in courthouses as the foundation of our current law, then indeed, why do we have laws against murder? If Biblical injunctions against homosexuality are to be disregarded, then why are ones against theft to be enshrined in law?
Of course, such a suit is nothing more than an attempt to score an ideological point – but that’s what our court system has been reduced to in these times. Legislatures have entirely abandoned the making of important laws in favor of the passing of micromanaging statutes. ‘Button Up Your Overcoat’ used to be a popular song, but it is now more likely to be an amendment to a Medicaid budget.
The Porcupine hasn’t lost his reporting edge, however, and tried to obtain another source for this story. Google, Lexis/Nexus – all came up dry. Gritting my teeth, I wrote to my cyber-competitor in North Carolina, and told Mr. Ogre that I wished to write about this, but could not obtain any verification, and could he please send me a story so I could glean additional details.
He replied at once, “Sorry, it's total satire. Gotcha, huh?” Porcupine then asked if Ogre would allow a piece on this any way, and he replied, “Feel free to! It seems to be using the exact same logic that the ACLU uses in their lawsuits.”
So, here is a cautionary tale for all of you. Hat tip, as they say, to Mr. Ogre. And wrinkled brows for the rest of us.