Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has provided a stark example of the respect he and many like him have for the Constitution: The 1st Amendment is honored only to the extent the words don’t offend him.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation erected a solstice display — such as humanists have erected in Arkansas — along with a “nativity scene” in which statues of the founding fathers and the Statue of Liberty surround a cradle holding the Bill of Rights (which does include a No. 2, remember.)
Reports the Dallas Morning News:
Staff at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday removed an exhibit that Gov. Greg Abbott said mocked religion without contacting the organization that sponsored the faux nativity display that replaced baby Jesus with a representation of the Bill of Rights.
…“This juvenile parody violates the Preservation Board’s regulations and should be removed immediately,” Abbott said in a letter to John Sneed, executive director of the State Preservation Board.
Abbott, in his letter, said the exhibit did not meet the requirements for display at the Capitol because it didn’t promote a “public purpose.”
“Subjecting an image held sacred by millions of Texans to the Foundation’s tasteless sarcasm does nothing to promote morals and the general welfare,” Abbott wrote, adding that the message was designed to “belittle and offend.”
Could there be a clearer example of government imposing limitations on speech it doesn’t like?
It brings to mind a number of actions by Arkansas elected officials — cutting off payments for women’s medical services because a provider does a constitutionally protected activity; ending a contract to help displaced workers because a legislator doesn’t like the AFL-CIO; state laws to prohibit localities from protecting civil rights of all citizens. But, whatever you do, don’t require a background check for people purchasing weapons — event military-style semi-automatics with giant clips — in private party transactions. That would offend the Constitution.