It could happen here. A California judge banned public displays in public places including nativity scenes, a 60 year community tradition in Santa Monica. But one Christmas an atheist put up his own display beside the nativity scene. The following year other atheists rented all the public spaces to express their version of Merry Christmas, "a happy winter solstice to all." So the judge banned all displays.
Was it right to go against popular feeling, the near universal belief in Christianity, the deeply religious character of the American people?
The constitution is clear, no one religion or for that matter any set of beliefs even secular beliefs like birth control shall be established over against all other beliefs by legal mandate or by tolerance. A democratic state must show no preference or tolerate any advantage to any beliefs. It must step away and keep the parties out of each other's way. The reason is that democracy is not about tolerance and live and let live when its basic principles are threatened like equality or national unity.
The movie Lincoln will soon show. It is about equality denied, democracy pushed to the wall, a democratic leader declaring martial law and all out war as a consequence.
The declaration of independence and the American constitution are clear: All men are equal or they might as well be dead. If some men are treated unequally because of skin, all men are threatened with inequality for other reasons like being Irish or worse yet Italian. A house divided Lincoln said will not stand the union cannot be half-slave and half free, it must be all one, it cannot be the other. So Lincoln launched the first great war of modern times against half of his own people.
That is why Noynoy must proceed with caution in granting autonomy in Muslim Mindanao, whose inhabitants, regardless of faith or gender must enjoy the absolute equality and freedom of all Filipinos. In short, he cannot give gender inequality and religious discrimination, even Islam, a country of its own without betraying his oath of office.
Good night and good luck.