Monday, June 14, 2004

This Compromise Stinks

I rarely wander from the beaten path of technology on this blog, but now that I have been firing up IP Inferno as my outlet for tech related commentary and news, I might comment a little more on non-tech. What has me in a lather today? This terrible ruling by the US Supreme Court.

I respect you if you think that the word "God" should be in the US Pledge of Allegiance, and I respect you if you think that it should not be in that Pledge. As citizens we can all respect each other's right to believe in a God (or Gods) or not and express our opinions on what the government should and should not do about those beliefs.

But the Supreme Court is the place where decisions should be made, sometimes hard decisions, on what the relationship between Church and State should look like in the 21st century US. The Justices have abrogated their responsibility to this nation by ruling that Michael Newdow cannot sue his daughter's school because he " in a protracted custody fight with the girl's mother."

This ridiculous side-step of the core constitutional issue comes at the wrong time for the US. We need to be demonstrating to the world that our system of government works -- that it is possible to balance the powers of executive, legislative, and judicial branches and to emerge with a government by, for, and about the people. In this ruling, the court has demonstrated that it is, once again, willing to step away from a difficult issue.

We should be engaging more Americans in the debate about the relationship between church and state, not trying to bury the issue under legal technicalities.

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