gwd at PO.CWRU.EDU
Wed Mar 4 16:00:38 PST 1998
Mark Graber has well stated the conventional wisdom; the problem isn't
with Mark but with the conventional wisdom. Mark alludes to "Brown" as
having a secular purpose, but where did the idea originate that it is wrong
to have racial separation or a racial caste system. In India, for example,
a racial caste system has been widely considered to be mandated by religion.
"Brown" begins with the idea that people are created in the image of God
and are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
rights. So "Brown" could easily be challenged for lacking a secular purpose.
All law presumably has some moral purpose. It should make no difference
whether that purpose stems from a religious or a non-religious moral code,
especially since distinctions between the two must often be arbitrary. We
should be able to apply the Establishment Clause without having to find (or
fabricate) a secular purpose.
George Dent, Case Western Reserve Law School
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