Virginia AG tells cities: creches and other religious monuments OK
08/25/2010 - 16:43
James Besser

I live in Virginia, so it's a little embarrassing to report that our attorney general, who's been a dream come true to the state's active Christian right since taking office in January, is at it again – in a way that will undoubtedly impact Jewish groups across the state, not to mention my tax bill.

Ken Cuccinelli has elicited both bemusement and anger with actions like his effort to cover up a bare breast on the official commonwealth seal showing Virtus, a Roman goddess – a seal designed by a Declaration of Independence signer, for pity's sake – and his legal rulings on gay rights and immigration.

Now he's telling local governments around the commonwealth that it's fine for them to display sectarian religious scenes on public property.

That means nativity scenes, images of Jesus and the like; such displays, he argues, are all about government accommodation of religion.

As a Virginia taxpayer, I'm wondering if this isn't more about spending public money to support his private religious views, but then I'm just picky, I guess.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State agrees with me; the group is warning that by “encouraging local governments to wade into a deeply controversial arena of the law without adequate guidance,” Cuccinelli is inviting lawsuits up the wazoo (well, that's not exactly how they put it).

Still more government money down the drain, right? Isn't it interesting how some conservatives like Cuccinelli rage against government spending – but are perfectly willing to spend oodles of public money it to support their religious views?

But then, they can always blame those silly church-state separationists and Jewish groups like the ADL for wasting money by using the legal system to support – gasp - the Constitution.

I'm guessing the ADL and other Jewish groups will wade in if local governments take up Cuccinelli's suggestion and erect creches, crosses and images of Jesus, thereby inviting lawsuits.

Comments

I am not an evangelical Christian Right activist (for what it matters, Cuccinelli is a Catholic, not a Falwell-type), but I know people do NOT like a small minority of atheists, Jews, and people so self-conscious that they, without questioning, buy into political correctness telling the MAJORITY of society what to do. Denying the majority a cultural tradition is NOT neutral, it IS the State taking a position itself. I do not want to live in a society where the Church and its values are no more respectable than a liquor store, while people are pushed to worship the STATE and its laws. Defending our cultural traditions is in the interest of traditional Jews, Muslims, Christians, etc., though it does (happily) threaten rootless cosmopolitans, lawyers, bankers, and other social parasites who feed off the modern secular liberal society. PS, open creationists in the SPD and FDP pushing a Christian-Right agenda? I think your weed has gotten you a bit paranoid.
@ Hi all, I am also from Germany (Berlin) and have to admit that also in Germany christian religious pressure groups are on their way. Not that obviously as Mr. Cuccinelli, rather soft and very engaged in childcare and education. Beside this strong christian religious forces are already active in all political parties as in the bigger ones as CDU, SPD and FDP*, but they are also represented in smaller parties specially with their focus on environment, family and health. Also we have in Germany a growing group of politically active persons which agree and support creastionistic ideas. This all is covered well and is tried to bring it slow and smooth to mainstream. From my view this is more dangerous and a destabilisation factor to democtratic structures as a Mr. Cuccinelli who is acting open and can also be opposed directly. That does not mean that I agree to his ideas unless christian motives are displayed during christmas time. *CDU = Christian Democratic Party SPD = Social Democratic Party FDP = Free Democratic Party
Hi, greetings from germany. I've read your blog about this subject Cuccinelli and i can tell you that I see some paralles to the form of state of Iran what he want to build in Virginia. Politics and Religions are two apart things and its very dangerous to combine them. Americans, you should better be carefull with guys like Mr.Cuccinelli - support your president, Mr. Obama - he is doing right.
Please site this magic Separation of Church and State. When the First Ammendment was drafted, many states had State Churches. In fact, until 1786, Virginia had an established church.

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