Pleasant Grove City Vs Summum Case Study

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Pleasant Grove City v. Summum draws upon lesser-known religions not being given the same liberty as more popular religions. Here, a public park had 11 permanent privately donated displays including the Ten Commandments. The Summum religion is a sect of the Christian religion that believes in two versions of the Ten Commandments, the first being destroyed and the second, known as the seven aphorisms are what should rule. They petitioned the city to allow them to place their version of the Ten Commandments at the park. The city refused claiming monuments related to city history could be placed in the park. The Summum’s informed the city their religion was founded in the city in 1975. The city still denied them and the Summum’s brought suit …show more content…
For example, the Court made two different rulings on two identical Ten Commandment cases in the same year. In McCreary County v. ACLU, the Court rejected a display of the commandments in a Kentucky courthouse because it did not have a secular purpose. In Van Orden v. Peny, the Court granted the state of Texas the ability to display the commandments on public capitol grounds because of its importance in U.S. history. In the dissent in McCreary Justice Scalia argued the First Amendment granted the government the ability to erect such monuments as the Ten Commandments wherever the government wished because a majority of the population is monotheistic, and “cannot be reasonably understood as a government endorsement of a particular religious viewpoint”. Scalia continued by stating, “I doubt most religious adherents are even aware there are competing versions with doctrinal consequences (I certainly was not). In any event, the context of the display here could not conceivably cause the viewer to believe the government was taking sides”. Justice Stevens attempted to warn Justice Scalia of his assumptions that all monotheistic people would support one version of the Ten Commandments. Stevens wrote, “There are many distinctive versions of the [Ten Commandments], ascribed to by different religions and even different denominations within a particular faith; these differences may be of enormous religious significance... In choosing to display this version of the Commandments, [it shows] the State supports [a particular] side of the doctrinal religious debate”. Scalia’s intolerance and Stevens’ attempt to reach out shows the court has two differentiating views. One views monotheistic religions (Protestant in particular) as a component of American history and rejects minority religions for their lack of history, and the other views having a neutral

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