The First Amendment of the United States Constitution begins by saying “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Those few words have been the subject of countless debates, and dozens of Supreme Court decisions. Some people on the Left believe that placing a nativity scene on the county courthouse lawn is a government establishment of religion. Those same people believe that putting a cross-shaped memorial to honor fallen servicemen on public property is a government establishment of religion. Most of us on the Right are starting to wonder exactly what does not count as a government endorsement of religion. Finally, the Left has given their answer. Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched a taxpayer-funded campaign to promote Islam in the Big Apple. The campaign includes pro-Islam signs around the city and special multilingual brochures to tell Muslims when they are being discriminated against.
If this is not a government endorsement of religion, I don’t know what is. The ACLU would never let a government support a pro-Christianity or pro-Judaism billboard campaign. Why are they not stepping up to sue NYC? The fact of the matter is, the Left will not call for this campaign to be stopped because they are not actually against religion. They are simply against the Judeo-Christian heritage that America was founded upon. In one breath they want to remove any reference to the God of the Bible and in the next breath they are calling for government to spend untold thousands of dollars to support Islam.
This lack of consistency is what separates conservatism from liberalism. As conservatives, we understand that government should not favor Islam like this new campaign in New York City has done. However, a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn is hardly a billboard telling people to support Christianity. It is merely an expression of the closely-held religious beliefs of the vast majority of the American people. If liberals truly want to stop a government endorsement of religion, their first target should be New York City and its clear violation of the First Amendment.
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