If God does exist and I end up in hell, part of the punishment will be having to watch people try to explain the First Amendment to O’R for eternity. And maybe to me too, because I still can’t quite parse whether Kelly’s approaching this as a religion case or a free speech case. She’s using the lingo of the latter (e.g., “viewpoint discrimination”) but the state’s concern has more to do with the former, that they’ll be guilty of endorsing faith if they don’t let atheists have their little spite display in the lobby. Since favoring religion over nonbelief or one religion over another will always amount to viewpoint discrimination, which clause really applies here — Free Speech or Establishment?
Also, is it true that there’s no viewpoint discrimination going on? Kelly’s right that the state acted evenhandedly in closing off the display area to future submissions regardless of viewpoint, but why’d they make that move now? Hmmm:
The moratorium affects at least five pending requests for displays, and none will be allowed this year, Valandra said. But a previously approved request to display a menorah will be allowed to go up Dec. 21…
The decision came a day after a formal application from the controversial Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, which asked to include a message that included references to Santa, rape and “God’s hate.” Other requests that will be rejected under the moratorium is a Kansas group’s request for a “Flying Spaghetti Monster” display, which is meant as a parody of creationism; a Buddhist request for a display; and a Christian goodwill message to atheists.
Exit question: If it’s really all about logistics and running out of space, why not rotate out the exhibits that are already there and rotate these in?