This state legislation was declared “unconstitutional” by an unelected SCOTUS in a 1980 per curium (unsigned) opinion, containing this lamentable declaration: "If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the school children to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the establishment clause."
Flash forward to April 20th – the year really doesn’t matter – and imagine that you are a fly on the wall of either one of two federal district court judges’ chambers. A news bulletin interrupts normal broadcasting to announce that this sad anniversary has been marked by yet another “Columbine copycat” school violence episode, and the authorities are now on the scene investigating the carnage.
Without a proper understanding of the State’s purpose and function, the citizenry can be trapped into believing that the State ought to promote policies beyond its legitimate role and authority.
Some of the emails I received last week are real gems. The homosexual network has gone into overdrive to slam any public figure that does not approve of homosexuality. I’m one of their main targets. Newsweek magazine called to interview me. I can’t wait to see how my words will be twisted.
The idea of pragmatism is a distinctly American phenomenon. Wearied by endless speculations and discussions of transcendence and metaphysics, William James and John Dewey popularized a philosophy of “whatever works.”