The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a pair of cases testing the constitutionality of displays of the Ten Commandments on government property. The Court finally agreed to reconcile conflicting lower rulings concerning the display of a six-foot monument on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol in one case, and another involving framed copies of the commandments on Kentucky courthouse walls.

The two cases have legitimate differences: The Texas display is part of a collection; the Kentucky “collection” sprung up to protect the display. The Texas monument is in a “museumlike” setting. The Kentucky display is on a court wall. The Texas Commandments monument was a gift, and it has stood uncontested for decades. But underlying all the details is a profound problem: a tendency to disregard the religious in our religion cases.