In its editorial today arguing on the side of the Summum in the latest Ten Commandments case, the NY Times editorial board sums it up about how you'd expect.
There is no shortage of churches, synagogues and private parcels of land where the Ten Commandments could be displayed without the need to include the credos of alternative faiths. Public property like Pioneer Park must be open to all religions on an equal basis — or open to none at all.And I almost completely agree with that statement--it's just that there's a group being left out.
Now admittedly, we atheists aren't known for getting together and raising money to put up statues of the tenets of atheism (mostly because there aren't any)--we're not known for getting together at all unless there's been a mystical Darwin sighting--but it would be nice to be included in the public discourse from time to time. Even if atheists only made up 10% of the "decline to state" segment of the population mentioned in the last Pew poll on religion (and that's a conservative estimate), that makes us 1.5% of the population, or about 4.5 million people. That's more than some recognized Christian sects.
So would the NY Times Editorial Board back us if we put together a lucite slab praising science, or a marble stele with statements of non-belief carved into it and tried to get it placed in a public park alongside a statue of the Ten Commandments? Okay, they probably would--they're the NY Times, after all. But how would it play elsewhere? Would we receive the same deference from the courts that Summum has?
I don't have high hopes for Summum in their Supreme Court case, no matter how logical their argument is and how poor the opposition's is--this Court, especially the ideological win led by Justice Scalia, has never let a thing like reason and fairness get in the way of bashing a group they disagree with, and I don't expect that will change. But I hope I'm proven wrong, because I've got this great idea for a carving of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and I think it would look wonderful if his noodly appendage were touching the Ten Commandments.