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Religious Hostility

Quoted in Religious Cleansing in the American Republic, Keith A. Fournier, American Center for Law and Justice.

February 24, 1993, in the U.S. Supreme Court. The case: Lamb's Chapel and John Steigerwald v. Center Moriches Union Free School District. A group of Christians wanted to show a film after hours in a public facility. Apparently, religious hostility has reached the point in this nation where, because the content of that film was deemed "religious" by the State of N.Y., it posed a perceived danger sufficient to warrant spending tax dollars to litigate a case of this nature all the way to the highest court of the land.

Mr. Justice Scalia questioned the attorney for the school board:

Question: you are here representing both respondents [the school board and the state of N.Y.]... in this argument, and the Attorney General of N.Y., in his brief defending the N.Y. rule says that...'Religious advocacy serves the community only in the eyes of its adherent and yields a benefit only to those who already believe.'

Does New York State&md;I grew up in New York State and in those days they used to have a tax exemption for religious property. Is that still there?

Counsel: Yes, your Honor it still is.

Question: But they've changed their view, apparently, that&md;

Counsel: Well, your Honor&md;

Question: You see&md;it used to be thought that religion&md;it didn't matter what religion, but it&md;some code of morality always went with it and was thought that...what was called a God-fearing person might be less likely to mug me and rape my sister. That apparently is not the view of New York anymore.

Counsel: Well I'm not sure that that's &md;

Question: Has this new regime worked very well?