1/3/2012—Jacques Berlinerblau, Director of the Program for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown, has listed on the Washington Posthttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif On Faith blog, his list of Top 10 religion stories to watch. Two of these stories illustrate the needlessly adversarial tendencies of the academic left when it comes to religion.
The first is his praise of the decision of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg not to allow clergy to speak at the tenth commemoration of the 9/11 attacks. What is so wonderful about that? Why is it not like saying he kept away poets? No wonder religious people believe that religion is under attack in America. Berlinerblau will not be satisfied until all religious images and references are banned in the public square.
Aside from that, it is likely that this principled stand that Berlinerblau admired had nothing to do with the separation of church and state and was simple prejudice to keep a Muslim cleric from speaking at the event. Berlinerblau is praising bigotry.
Number six on Berlinerblau is the failure of the effort by Bronx Household of Faith, from holding its Sunday services at Public School 15, where it has worshiped since 2002. The denial of a community group to use public property available to everyone else merely because the group is religious and its proposed use is religious is probably unconstitutional. We shall see.
But whether it is unconstitutional or not, this is discrimination against the private expression of religion. What business is it of the government what use I intend to make of public property when it is available to all? What’s next? Government censorship of unpopular messages at public parks? The use was on Sunday when any community group is permitted to use the space. If you don’t want religion, don’t open up government property to everyone else.