Display of religious tenets debated Follow the link for the full article. Display of Religious Tenets Debated By Jerry Markon Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, November 13, 2008; Page A04 The way Summum tells it, when Moses first came down from Mount Sinai, he didn't have the Ten Commandments in his hands: He was holding the Seven Aphorisms. The aphorisms are the guiding principles of Summum, a religious organization that operates from a pyramid in Salt Lake City and practices mummification. The group's founder, Summum "Corky" Ra, asked that the sayings be displayed near a Ten Commandments monument in a public park in Pleasant Grove, a Salt Lake suburb. The city said no, triggering a court fight that yesterday wound up before the Supreme Court. The justices debated whether the city violated Summum's First Amendment rights and must erect the aphorisms, sayings such as "Summum is mind," "Everything vibrates" and "The measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left." Based on yesterday's argument, it is unclear whether this particular court is swinging right or left. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., an appointee of President Bush, immediately questioned Pleasant Grove's decision to accept the donated Ten Commandments monument in the first place, saying it could violate the First Amendment ban on government establishment of religion. Summum's attorneys filed their challenge under a different part of the amendment, the free-speech clause. "What is the government doing speaking and supporting the Ten Commandments?" Roberts asked. I think religious displays on government property are always a bad idea. If you allow one, then you have to allow them all and accomodating every religion out there can cause quite a problem. You also have to allow religious displays from religions that, putting it politely, are not mainstream. What if Satan worshipers wanted to erect a display on the lawn of the Town Hall? We'd also have to allow people like Fred Phelps to get equal time. (I would demand that a monument dedicated to the Flying Spaghetti Monster be allowed as long as anything is allowed) I think keeping government property neutral on the topic of religion is the best way to go. There are ample opportunities for people to put displays on their own private property if they feel the need. It is not necessary to have the government do it for you (unless you're trying to proselytize with government resources and I think that is basically the purpose of these displays).