Monday, March 02, 2009
Law and Religion Toy Idea
So I had in mind the Summum case with the competing religious monuments over the weekend when my son and I were playing with his Colorform Thomas the Tank Engine toy, Colorforms being those popular old-school toys with vinyl cut-out pictures that you can stick to a background and then remove them and restick them and remove them and restick them a million times because they never turn non-sticky, when it occurred to me that someone should make an "Endorsement Test" Colorform set. It would provide hours of fun trying to predict what the Supreme Court would do with any given religious display, and students could use it to review their understanding of Lynch v. Donnelly! The set would include a creche, several menorahs of varying sizes, the hypothetical 18 foot high dreidel from Allegheny, a Summum monument, a statue of Ganesha, a sitting Buddha, a giant Confucius, a Ten Commandments monument (or, better yet, three monuments, representing the Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish versions, since they're all different), and of course the teddy bear, elephant, and clown from Lynch. Lots of municipal greenery, too. Have you ever wondered whether a floral frame really brings extra attention to a creche on public property? This would be your chance to find out.
(incidentally, I actually like the endorsement test, but look, I'm as prone as anyone to use it for joke-making purposes)
(if anyone wants to read a little interview thing with me about my upcoming book and take a look at my painting of Justice Alito with a small green bunny on his shoulder (which my editors cut), check out Religion Dispatches, a cool religion website)
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For the record, Sir Topham Hatt would never tolerate the confusion and delay Supreme Court precedent has created in this area.
Posted by: Joseph Slater | Mar 2, 2009 10:43:01 AM
Why, the indignity!
Posted by: Jay Wexler | Mar 2, 2009 11:03:36 AM
Actually, this is a brilliant idea. I don't think it's commercially viable, but if I were at all crafty, I would be putting this together - if only as a thinking aid (I'm working on an article on Summum).
Posted by: Matthew Reid Krell | Mar 2, 2009 12:20:35 PM
The Supreme Court is out to ruin the joke that you can't put a creche in a court house lobby because it's unconstitutional to have three wise men in a court house--and it's no place for a virgin, either.
Posted by: supremecourtjester | Mar 2, 2009 5:05:43 PM
This would make for a fascinating Con Law exam: draw a picture of a constitutional display of a creche in a municipal park.
Posted by: Hillel Y. Levin | Mar 2, 2009 8:08:44 PM
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