Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Let me start today's rant by saying that I am not particularly religious, at least not in the church every Sunday, bible study sort of way. I have my beliefs, but they are mine and that is not the point.
The point is, if I want to put up a Christmas tree, crucifix, or start the day with a daily "Our Father", I can. I suppose I can also hang a very large Star of David on my wall, I can do that too, although it would be a little weird, since I am not Jewish.
Let me be very clear about what I am saying.
I can hang a cross on any wall,
wear an icon of Saint Paul,
decorate a Christmas tree in Central Park,
then light it up soon after dark,
build a Menorah in downtown Agoura,
write 10 commandments on the wall,
even down at city hall.
I can do this, yes I can,
you can't stop me, no way man!
(Can you tell I like Dr. Seuss?)
OK, so to amend that slightly, the federal government can't stop me. I do not have to be a constitutional scholar to understand what "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" means.
Here is what it does not say: Congress and its minions will expend great energy and taxpayer monies running around the country ensuring that somebody's religion is not offending another somebody's sensibilities.
In fact, if I may paraphrase, the Constitution basically says: "Federal Government, Butt Out".
We the people can make laws, rules, establish social norms and conventions as to when and where the practising of one's religion and/or the displaying of associated icons, mementos, symbols and paraphernalia is or is not appropriate. Not the Feds. Not the Federal Reserve, Not Berquacky or Berquacky's reps. He has that authority over us like he has the authority to tell us not to eat tuna fish sandwiches on Thursdays.
We all have to find a way to get along and live peacefully. It will always be a give and take. In the old days we had etiquette and being polite mattered. Then the godless, acid-freak-hippy-monsters took the reigns and we have been in a downward spiral ever since.
Seriously, folks... we should really consider setting aside some public lands to create aging hippy happy camps - put them somewhere where they can't hurt us anymore. What about that Woodstock place?