Above is a photo I took this morning of a new apartment building going up in downtown East Lansing. Note the giant architectural cross built into the facade – I have to say that because I actually saw the building many times without ever noticing the cross! But apparently other people are more observant than me, because an article I read this morning implied that some residents have expressed discomfort with the feature, and suggested to the city that it might perhaps violate the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution. The building is being constructed entirely with private money, and the City Attorney has rightly replied that not only is it perfectly legal for the developers to put a giant cross on the side of their building if they want one, but furthermore that if the city tried to stop them, the city would be in violation of the 1st Amendment.
So that’s all good, but that people even complained in the first place just goes to show, I think, that some people have this idea that you are entitled to a free exercise of your religion, as long as it stays inside the walls of your place of worship or your home. But as soon as it starts leaking out into the wider world, they have a problem, and might even think you have a legal problem. (In fact, maybe you could even say that an amendment that was originally created mainly to protect the rights of religious folk from interference from the government, is now being used by some to try to justify interference from the government. So upside down is the world today.)