Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Easy Church/State Case in California

The Desert Sands Unified School District in California decided to have a fundraiser to help pay for their new high school, allowing members of the community to purchase bricks to be placed permanently on campus with any message they would like to put on those bricks. But when an atheist decided he wanted an anti-Christian quote from Bertrand Russell, the school balked and refused to allow that message to go on a brick.

The ACLU has filed suit on behalf of the man and is arguing that the school created an open forum by allowing people to choose what messages they wanted on the bricks they purchases and therefore can’t engage in viewpoint discrimination based on the message a person chooses. This is an open and shut case. Oh, wait…

I got those facts wrong. It’s a Christian who wants to put a Bible verse on their brick and the school refused to allow him to do so. And it’s the Alliance Defense Fund that filed suit on the man’s behalf, not the ACLU.

But guess what? It’s still an open and shut case. The school did indeed establish a public forum by inviting people to choose whatever message is expressed on their brick. And the school can no more refuse to allow someone to make a religious statement than they can refuse to allow someone to make an anti-religious one.