I want to answer the worthy call of Beach Girl and post about the developments and commentary concerning the Wren Cross fiasco.
The Wren Chapel at William & Mary's College in Williamsburg used to contain a cross, until, in October 2006, college President Gene R. Nichol decided to remove it, cowardly bowing to PC pressure. You know the usual specious arguments: we want to be inclusive (by removing the most inclusive symbol in the world), we don't want to offend the minority (but it's OK to outrage millions of Christians and traditional Americans), we receive Government money so it's public property in a sense (is there any place left that is NOT somehow public property? Mars?)...
Natasha Altamirano has recently penned an excellent op ed on the subject. Here is part of what she said:
"WILLIAMSBURG -- The simple altar at the College of William & Mary's Wren Chapel befits the austerity of the Anglican tradition in which the school was founded. There are no ornate icons or stained-glass windows, just a few candles and an empty space where a brass cross once stood. To some, that empty space marks the triumph of diversity over exclusivity. To others, it represents unchecked political correctness at the expense of free expression. [...]"
"Opponents of the decision say it shows inconsistent reasoning: removing the religious symbol of one faith to appease people of other faiths. 'We are going to support someone who is so intolerant that, when they see someone else's religious symbol, they leave?' asked junior Joseph Luppino-Esposito."
Here are my thoughts on the matter:
1 - Holding the majority hostage to the thinnest-skinned among us is not a badge of enlightenment for a free country; it is a form of flabby tyranny where a single pusillanimous soul can trump the peaceful traditions of millions.
2 - The "separation of Church and state" canard is just that. A canard. And I don't care if it is a canard with Common-Law precedents. Those who invoke this interpretation of the establishment clause conveniently forget a few key things:
a) It is the power of the Government, not of free individuals or institutions that the Constitution specifically limits, but this concept has been turned on its head. The Constitution was erected as a "wall" to protect the citizens and their beliefs from the intrusions of Government, not the other way around. Thus, when the founders said "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof" they meant just that: Congress cannot pass a law outlawing one or any religion in favor of others. Occam would roll in his grave to see how this simple sentence has been perverted to mean just its opposite. So, according to the new wisdom it is citizens' institutions like universities that "shall not allow free religious exercise" if held hostage by the unconstitutional protection money of Government funding. Which takes us to point b.
b) It seems that this righteousness about the letter of the Constitution is rather selective, because in most areas the Government is already trampling rough-shod on the limits imposed on it by the Constitution. Apart from the blatant example of the 2nd Amendment and gun-control laws, what about all the other areas of our lives where the Federal Government is intruding in open violation of the 10th Amendment? Government schools, anyone? Where God is banned but sexual, political, social, environmental and cultural indoctrination is the norm? Government social security? Government health insurance?
c) When we say "wall of separation between Church and state" it always seems that we are talking about a rather univocal relation between the two entities and the direction of the wall. It's always the State's "wall" that pushes back the Church's. Again and again. By PC standards, it's OK for the state to expand its scope on our life, cancer-like, and whatever new realm it starts devouring, in must be instantly sanitized of any trace of Christianity.
d) How do we define "taking offense"? Do we define that as any and all instances when you are not just positively and wrongly, but merely incidentally and neutrally excluded from a situation? If so, why stop at Christian symbols? How about separate-sex locker rooms or bathrooms? Other's wives' bedrooms? Other individuals' bank accounts? How about using the simple standard of having to show actual injury--or shutting your despicable trap and growing up?
In any case, this of the Wren Chapel Cross is a symbolic battle for how Western Civilization and Traditions are being savaged by a section of society for whom nothing short of political socialism, cultural libertinism and the total expunging of traditional American values are the enforced norm. And the majority is taking this, silently but with increasing anger and frustration. All the while, our vermin-like leaders quabble about who's going to win the next election so they can, in turn, campaign for the next one, and the next one after that.
We are one strong, charismatic leader away from something momentous in America. Here's whishing for him or her to arrive soon.