Fourth Circuit to Establishment Clause: “Fuck You!”

Ken AshfordGodstuffLeave a Comment

Like in public meetings around the country, the Chesterfield County (Va.) Board of Supervisors begins its meetings with a religious invocation offered by local clergymen of various denominations. As you might expect, the invocation itself is non-denominational, but alway always always invokes a monotheistic supreme being.

Cynthia Simpson, a member of a non-Judeo-Christian pantheistic religion — a religion with hundreds of thousands of adherents in America alone — wrote the Board seeking to address the Board with an invocation. She was denied.

To make a long story short, there was a lawsuit about this. The lower court found for Simpson.

But, as reported here, the Fourth Circuit overturned. The reasoning is complicated, but trust me — even if you followed the reasoning, you would still find it tortured.

Basically, it boils down to this: the Board did not have a discriminative motive against Simpson’s pantheistic (multiple-God-believing) religion. Why? Because the Board permitted a wide spectrum of monotheistic (one-God-believing) clergymen to speak at the invocations.

Now, to me, that’s like saying "This country club doesn’t discriminate against blacks because it allows in white people from Minnesota, off-whiteish people from the midAtlantic, and tan-white people from Florida. So there’s no discrimination against blacks." Pretty fucked up reasoning, right?

By the same token, if a Chesterfield Board of Supervisors only permits monotheistic religions to speak at invocation, then it IS making a religious judgment about pantheistic ones. It IS discriminating against them. By definition almost. Even the 4th Circuit opinion tacitly acknowledges this,when the judge writes "our instititutions presuppose a supreme being". A supreme being. One of them.

He talks out of both sides of his mouth by essentially saying, "The Board didn’t discriminate against multi-God religions because it’s okay to discriminate against them, because we as a nation officially recognize only one God". Shades of Dred Scott, if you ask me.

So to all you believers of "unacceptable" religions where there are more than one God, don’t expect the Constitution to protect you. And don’t expect to be treated equally in the eyes of the government. At least not in the Fourth Circuit. Because, the courts here have ruled that your dumbass religion is too far out of the mainstream, and the Constitution is apparently supposed to only protect majority-approved religions (you know, the correct ones).