Speaker: Supreme Court decisions push U.S. toward secularism
By Liz Zemba
Published: Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, 11:44 p.m.
A series of Supreme Court decisions took the United States from its founding on Christian principles to its current state of secularism, a Pittsburgh lawyer said Sunday at a symposium sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg.
Featured speaker Brad Tupi said that has resulted in conflicts such as those unfolding in Fayette County over a Ten Commandments monument outside a public school.
Tupi, a shareholder in the Tucker Arensberg law firm Downtown, is an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom and a member of the Federalist Society and the Christian Legal Society. The symposium on religious freedom was held in the Bishop William G. Connare Center near Greensburg.
The Ten Commandments monument outside Connellsville Area Junior High School was donated to the school in 1957 by the Connellsville Eagles. It was covered with plywood after the Freedom From Religion Foundation and an anonymous parent and student filed a federal lawsuit seeking its removal.
The school district has opted not to remove the monument, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
Tupi said the monument is an example of how Supreme Court decisions can threaten religious freedoms. Other examples, he said, include removal of a cross from the city of Los Angeles' seal and annual battles over nativity scenes on public property.
“Christmas every year is a battleground,” Tupi said. “Every year, there is a creche somewhere that the ACLU or the Freedom From Religion Foundation is attacking.”
Tupi said various Supreme Court decisions, including one in 1962 banning school prayer and another in 1980 forbidding Ten Commandments posters in schools, take away religious freedom. He said the decisions are based on a misinterpretation of the First Amendment.
“All of these cases were based on a flawed rationale of the wall of separation between church and state,” Tupi said. “It's not in the Constitution.”
Tupi said the Founding Fathers embraced Christianity, often referencing “almighty God” in their writings and speeches. The first public schools, located in Massachusetts and Connecticut, were established to teach children “to read Scripture and save their souls,” he said.
Other Supreme Court decisions, Tupi said, have turned “former sins into Constitutional rights,” including legalization of abortion and pornography. The cultural impact occurred “almost overnight,” Tupi said.
“TV went from wholesome shows like ‘Father Knows Best' and ‘Leave it to Beaver' ... things were so wholesome,” Tupi said. “Now we have shows like ‘Desperate Housewives' and ‘Sex and the City.' ”
Joining Tupi in the symposium were Greensburg Bishop Lawrence Brandt; Michael Krom, a St. Vincent College philosophy professor; and Mary Ellen Pellegrino, the diocese's director of pro life and social ministry.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sewickley Township worker accused of threats seeks pre-trial program
- Inmate population up over 2012
- Police: Witness’ tip leads to arrest
- Rullo demotion hearing postponed
- Gettysburg journey finally complete for Honor Guard members
- Farmer to continue in leadership role
- Ligonier Theatre looking to upgrade to digital equipment
- South Greensburg bugler still playing ‘Taps,’ but few others continue tradition
- Mt. Pleasant shows support for fire victims
- Latrobe couple accused of using car trunk to end son’s fear of the dark
- Southwest Caucus hears from Dems running for governor at Delmont event