2010 Ed Likover Memorial Lecture

The 2010 Ed Likover speech to the ACLU affiliate of Ohio was presented at the College Club of Cleveland on 17 Oct 2010 by Boston University Professor of Law Jay Wexler .

Prof. Wexler’s humble CV includes: B.A., Magna Cum Laude, Harvard University; M.A., University of Chicago Divinity School; and a J.D., Stanford Law School.  He spoke on Church/State separation issues.

(For more information, see:http://www.bu.edu/law/faculty/profiles/bios/full-time/wexler_j.html)

As one would expect of a divinity school student, he was raised by Jewish parents in New York City, and attended a Roman Catholic High School, where he became an atheist.

Mr. Wexler spoke on current church/state separation issues, referencing his book “Holy Hullabaloos: A Road Trip to the
Battlegrounds of the Church/State Wars” (which he wrote during his first post tenure sabbatical year).

He spoke about  several cases around the Nation, including the Michael Newdow pledge case (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Newdow), and offered an interesting observation: it might not be a ‘good’ situation if the Court banned the ‘under that mysterious, supreme ultimate whose name we cannot mention or image we cannot make’ words from the National Loyalty Oath, as that might well cause a strong counter reaction which might become a tidal wave of false piety and overt theocracy.  N.B.: Are ‘pick your battles’, or ‘be careful for what you wish’ in the ten commandments this week?

‘Intelligent design’ was described as “creationism with graphs”, and he urged us all to visit the creationism museum near Cincy.

Local color included the Cleveland school vouchers case.

When one learned, articulate member of the audience expressed apprehension about the future of the Establishment Clause, he replied very positively in the affirmative, and observed that many things are in place today because of it.

Entertaining to all, enlightening to most, and an experience well worth the time, effort, and expense to attend.

N.B.: Ed Likover is an ACLU hero who stood up for the rights of himself and others to have political and religious views which are out of the mainstream.  The lecture is annual, and sponsored by  a family endowment.

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