Supreme Court to hear New Age park memorial case
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case in its next term to decide whether a Utah city must allow a monument to be installed in a public park by a New Age group that promotes pyramids, mummification, and sexual ecstasy, Cybercast News Service reports.

This week Supreme Court justices agreed to hear a case involving a Salt Lake City-based religion called Summum, whose founder claims to have been visited by “highly intelligent beings.”  The group, arguing on First Amendment grounds, has sought to erect a monument to its “Seven Aphorisms” alongside a monument to the Ten Commandments in a public park in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit upheld a lower court decision forcing the city to permit Summum adherents to install their monument.

Brian Barnard, the Salt Lake City attorney representing Summum, said he expects the high court to uphold the decision.

"It's a matter of simple fairness," Barnard said to Cybercast News Service. "If you allow one group to do it, you've got to allow every group to do it."

Summum, according to the IRS, is a religion that is virtually unknown outside of Salt Lake City and certain internet groups.

According to the group’s web site, Summum is based on Gnostic Christianity and Egyptian practices.  It promotes as a funeral rite a modern form of mummification and advocates “sexual ecstasy” as a way of knowledge.

The religion was founded in 1975 by a former Mormon named Claude “Corky” Rex Nowell.  Nowell said he received a series of visits from “highly intelligent beings,” or “Summa individuals,” who gave him higher knowledge.

Nowell legally changed his name to Summum Bonum Amon Ra.  Amon Ra was the ancient Egyptian god of the Sun, while “summum bonum” is a Latin phrase meaning “highest good.”

Nowell is usually referred to as “Corky Ra.”

Summum adherents meet and meditate in a pyramid-shaped temple in Salt Lake City.  They manufacture and use a wine-like beverage they call “nectar.”  The group also uses a symbol of a pentagram within a pentagon within a circle, which they call a “Divine Logo.”

According to Cybercast News, the Seven Aphorisms that the Summum adherents wish to memorialize are: “correspondence,” “vibration,” “opposition,” “rhythym,” “cause and effect,” “gender,” and “psychokinesis,” which the group defines as the idea that the mind is the universe.

The attorney for the city of Pleasant Grove was pleased the appeal would be heard.
"We're delighted that the Supreme Court agreed to take this critical case," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing the city.

Sekulow said that the case did not involve the Supreme Court’s 2005 decisions on the Ten Commandments.  In those cases the justices ruled that officials could allow religious displays on public property so long as the overall presentation was religiously neutral.

"This is not about the Establishment Clause. They have already lost on that," Sekulow told Cybercast News Service. "The issue is the freedom of speech -only, it's really about the government's freedom to speak."

The city of Pleasant Grove will argue that “mayhem” would result if every city, county, or state is forced to allow alternatives to be set up alongside government-sponsored monuments.  The city has considered removing the Ten Commandments monument entirely.

"That's like saying, if you have a Veterans of Foreign Wars monument in a city park, you should have to allow an anti-war group's monument to go up, too," Sekulow said, according to Cybercast News Service.

Sekulow argued that if the court rules in Summum’s favor, cities with memorials to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will face challenges from racist groups citing the decision as precedent to have their memorials erected alongside those to Dr. King.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20