March 31, 2008

Another religious monument case for the Supreme Court — this time it's the Seven Aphorisms of Summum.

SCOTUSblog reports:
The newly granted case on monuments on public property — Pleasant Grove City v. Summum (06-665) — will return the Court to the thorny issue of government control of expressive displays in city parks and other public places. The case grows out of a dispute between a city in Utah and a religious sect, Summum, that sought to place in a city park — along with other monuments, including one dedicated to the Ten Commandments — a monument to the tenets of Summum’s faith, the “Seven Aphorisms.”
What are the Seven Aphorisms of Summum?
  1. THE PRINCIPLE OF PSYCHOKINESIS
  2. THE PRINCIPLE OF CORRESPONDENCE
  3. THE PRINCIPLE OF VIBRATION
  4. THE PRINCIPLE OF OPPOSITION
  5. THE PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM
  6. THE PRINCIPLE OF CAUSE AND EFFECT
  7. THE PRINCIPLE OF GENDER
So, expect to hear a lot more about Summum.

27 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I dunno -- I saw the list of seven aphorisms and thought of sex. Maybe it's the blog post on True Love Revolution preconditioning me.

George said...

These are the mummification people !!!


At the present time, Utah state and federal authorities will not allow Summum to create and use the Nectars in the manner in which Summum has been instructed. Summum considers this an act of religious discrimination by the government due to the religious bias that influences the government's way of thinking.

former law student said...

mm: from one of their web pages:

Information about Merh® and the book, Sexual Ecstasy from Ancient Wisdom, has moved. Please visit this site:

http://www.SexualEcstasy.org

I'm going to impose a 100 year rule on religious monuments in public spaces. Seventh Day Adventists, JWs, and Christian Scientists are eligible, but not Branch Davidians, Scientologists, or these Summum folks.

Actually Summum sounds a lot like Rosicrucianism (AMORC) (Not a religion.)

Elliott A said...

This case appears different than the others where the governmental entity itself or its representatives placed a religious themed monument on property which served an official function (i.e. couthouse). This is just a public park where others have placed their own items. As long as the monument has a clear identification marker citing the Summum's as the source and maintenance of the monument, and since they are not representing any philosophy which would cause psychological harm to others as would a swazticka or confederate battle flag, why would any rational person or group oppose them? We allow churches to post signs on highways that they are doing the cleanup on a particular stretch, and this isn't much different; a public place for use by everyone one is a road, the other a park. Since the people live in this town, why shouldn't they have a sign of their culture alongside the others?

Elliott A said...

Please remember that I am not a lawyer

From Inwood said...

Hillary wants to post a plaque on the Seven Aphorisms of Rev Wright.

Trooper York said...

5. THE PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM

Hey they stole that from the Catholics. I learned about that in pre-cana class.

Middle Class Guy said...

I got rhythm, I got music, I got my girl, who could ask for anything more...?

TMink said...

Elliot wrote: "since they are not representing any philosophy which would cause psychological harm to others as would a swazticka or confederate battle flag"

I am not sure I agree with you that symbols cause psychological harm. They can make people uncomfortable, and for say a concentration camp survivor or a person who was victimized by Confederate battle flag toting KKK gang, it might even cause some dissociation, but I am not sure I can buy into "harm."

Distress and discomfort are not harm, and our culture too often conflates the two. Scary movies cause distress, as do roller coasters. The brain reactions are almost indestinguishable from being chased by a madman or trapped on a runaway train respectively. Yet people PAY for those experiences because they believe that they are safe, and find the experience exhilarating.

Obviously, public display of symbols that people find upsetting will be controversial and maybe even upsetting, but harmful? I need convincing on that point, and am willing to hear your arguments.

Trey

Simon said...

Ann, have you ever been down to the Court to watch an argument?

From Inwood said...

Say, about the thread on "Have you dated liberals before & the "essay the other day in the NYT — it's now #1 on their most-emailed list — about these literary types who abhor love from people who don't know all the authors or don't like the right books..."

What if your date is reading the Seven Aphorisms of Summum or, worse, belongs to that cult?

Hey, aren't we all for "multiculturalism"?

BTW Aphorism Number 3 sounds like it might involve a sex toy.

From Inwood said...

Say, about the thread on "Have you dated liberals before & the "essay the other day in the NYT — it's now #1 on their most-emailed list — about these literary types who abhor love from people who don't know all the authors or don't like the right books..."

What if your date is reading the Seven Aphorisms of Summum or, worse, belongs to that cult?

Hey, aren't we all for "multiculturalism"?

BTW Aphorism Number 3 sounds like it might involve a sex toy.

Elliott A said...

Trey-

It is harmful if the park in question is no longer a place they feel comfortable visiting, and has been a place they enjoyed, and is teh only one of its kind available. I agree it won't damage their psyche.

chaz said...

What posts should we read for a preview of your course on Religion and the Constitution? Or perhaps a new post would be more appropriate? Con Law 2, as well.

Smilin' Jack said...

...why would any rational person or group oppose them?

We rational people would prefer not to have our parks cluttered with monuments to other people's psychoses (yes, that includes you, Christians.) Unfortunately, we rational people have little influence on government today.

Eli Blake said...

On the topic of the Supreme Court, they were right to not take the case on the FBI raid of Congressman Jefferson's office.

This in effect leaves a lower court ruling in place that threw out evidence seized from the office by FBI agents because the FBI is a Federal agency and executing a warrant in a Congressional office was in violation of the 'speech and debate' clause of the Constitution.

To have taken it would have resulted in one of two outcomes:

1. overturning the lower court decision, in which case it would be a clear expansion of executive vs. legislative powers, or

2. upholding the lower court decision (which IMO would have been the right decision) but would then effectively leave the executive branch toothless in negotiating an alternative way to carry out such searches in the future (i.e. have the Capitol Hill Police do the actual searching.)

Joe said...

Unfortunately, what is a simple public properties issue has been turned into a religious issue. The park in question isn't that big, though smack in the middle of town, and if everyone can "donate" a monument, there won't be any park left.

Paddy O. said...

From their principle on opposition

It explains that in everything there are two opposing points or opposite aspects (complementarity), and that opposites are really only the two extremes of the same event, with many varying degrees between them.

To illustrate, "hot and cold," although opposites, are really the same phenomenon, the differences consisting merely of degrees of the same "event." Look at your thermometer and see if you can discover where hot terminates and cold begins!

In actuality, there is no such thing as absolute hot or absolute cold -- the two terms "hot" and "cold" simply indicate varying degrees of the same event, and that same event which manifests as hot and cold is merely a form, variety, and rate of vibration.


Which makes me wonder why they would bring a case like this to the Supreme Court. Rejection is just a form of extreme acceptance--merely acceptance of a different form, and at a different rate of vibration.

TMink said...

Elliot, point made and taken. The edifice or monument should not "steal" the park by adding a noxious symbol. Got ya man, thanks for setting me straight!

Trey

Revenant said...

THE PRINCIPLE OF PSYCHOKINESIS

From the root words psycho ("crazy"), is ("is"), and kine ("to move") we derive the word "psychokinesis", meaning "we're crazy, and you should run away".

former law student said...

The park in question isn't that big, ...and if everyone can "donate" a monument, there won't be any park left.

Because of size limitations, a reasonable time/place/manner restriction would be to limit monument size, say to 3' x 3' x 3', or to limit monument display time, say to two weeks per year.

Revenant said...

overturning the lower court decision, in which case it would be a clear expansion of executive vs. legislative powers,

Judicial, not executive. A warrant is an order from the judicial branch; the executive merely executes it.

Revenant said...

In actuality, there is no such thing as absolute hot or absolute cold

Science nerd nitpick: the coldest possible temperature is about -273 degrees Celsius and the hottest is about 141 million trillion trillion degrees, although it has known to occasionally climb above that in parts of Florida and Louisiana.

Michael said...

On the the "gift shop" page, there quote from my favorite Canadian Rock band Rush!

This seems like new age b.s. but I'll support anyone willing to fight the the first amendment.

Paddy O. said...

"This seems like new age b.s."

Seems to me a lot more like old age b.s.

Good, old-fashioned, unvarnished gnosticism. Gnosticism got all mucked up by trying to fit itself in, and pass itself off as, early Christian beliefs.

This present form is very refreshing really. Secret knowledge awaits any one who dares to make the journey!

Seems rather silly to me, but at least they're willing to strike out on their own again instead of trying to trot out the Gospel of Judas or Thomas as supposed 'alternative forms'. Stand up tall, gnosticism! Plant your monument where all can read and judge without any longer clinging to the coattails of dominant religions!

Brad V said...

Maybe they were going for Sunnum. As in Browning's 'Sunnum Bonum.'

"...Truth, that’s brighter than gem, Trust, that’s purer than pearl, --
Brightest truth, purest trust in the universe--all were for me"

Or not.

Brad V said...

My bad - it's "Summum Bonum" - the double 'n' is a misprint.

Still, the more interesting part of the poem - more relevant to the aphorism of gender, perhaps, is the closer:

"In the kiss of one girl."