Sacred Rain Arrow Is Religious?
Oklahoma Plate Violates First Amendment?
Now the courts have ruled. Fortunately, they upheld my position.
Okla. Man Establishment Clause Effort to Challenge Oklahoma’s Indian-Shooting-Arrow License Plate Fails
Here's plaintiff's argument against the license plate:
The challenged image “depict[s] a statute of a Native American shooting an arrow into the sky.” Plaintiff argues that it communicates a message about Native American religion. ... However, plaintiff states in his amended complaint that he “learned that the image on the license plate was a depiction of a sculpture called ‘Sacred Rain Arrow’ by Allen Houser,” and “learned” that the sculpture was based on a Native American Legend. Nothing on the tag indicates that the image is based on a sculpture or that the arrow is sacred or the reason why it is being shot. While plaintiff clearly links the image to the sculpture and legend, nothing on the license plate, itself, makes or suggests that connection. It is only through further independent research of the sort plaintiff alleges he undertook, that a person would learn the underlying facts and circumstances which plaintiff alleges to constitute the offensive message.
But you'd have to delve into Galileo's and the Church's history to come up with that tortured reasoning. It isn't self-evident in a display of Galileo's factually true findings. Therefore, it doesn't rise to the level of establishing one religious belief over another.
A Christian cross would be a different story. That symbol has a religious meaning that's clear to the average person. That would rise to the level of establishing one religious belief over another.
The same would be true of a more obvious Native religious image. Perhaps a dancing kachina, and certainly a deity such as White Buffalo Woman or Gitche Manitou. The government hasn't and shouldn't put them on anything official.
In short, no one is saying Christianity is bad and Native religions are good. They're saying an overt religious symbol is unacceptable but art with subtle religious implications is okay.
So Cressman loses and rightly so. Better luck next time, fella.
For more on what Christians believe, see Christian Flyer Calls Lakota Rite "Satanic" and Library Blocks "Occult" Native Websites.
Of course it does not violate the First Amendment. It is not the forcing of a state religion. It is freedom of expression.
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