Parsing the Supremes’ tea leaves

Supreme CourtThe pros at the Religion Newswriters Association already have one of their ReligionLink features up on the tightly decided U.S. Supreme Court decision on the 10 Commandments. To check it out, click here. Meanwhile, watch this space for the wave of links that will, in a matter of hours, pour out of Christianity Today‘s blog.

This is going to be a mucho strange story to follow in the MSM, because reporters are having a devil of time finding out if the Religious Right won or lost. And what is the impact of all this on the first open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court and, thus, on the legal future of abortion on demand? After all, this is the ultimate issue. If you don’t believe me, click here.

The split nature of the 10 Commandments decision is well stated in this early Washington Post report:

The decisions, issued by two different majorities of justices using different tests of constitutionality, are likely to continue, rather than settle, the long-running argument over when state, local and federal governments may display religious symbols or allow their display on government property.

“Split decisions make people go and fight again,” said Barry Lynn, head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an organization which has been fighting this particular fight for decades.

Let us know about the good and the bad in the MSM coverage in the next 24 hours. I’ll chime in again if and when I see any patterns. Who knows, maybe this decision will be impossible to get into a simple headline — period.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • http://tennessee-catholic.blogspot.com/ John

    The number one winners are the folks who now know that there is room in the public square for the Ten Commandments if they are framed in the proper context.

    The number two winners are the lawyers.


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