The government bible thumpers and their salivating proxies are at it again. They never stop. They never give up. If it’s not about teaching creationism in public schools disguised as intelligent design, it’s the Ten Commandments in public buildings disguised as history.
The “God” of the national motto: “In God We Trust” on American currency has nothing whatsoever to do with religion they say. And the court agrees; it’s mere “ceremonial deism.” The reference to “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance has nothing whatsoever to do with religion either. So saith a majority of the justices.
And now they tell us once again that the Ten Commandments given by God Almighty Himself to Moses up on the mountain; the same God and Ten Commandments referenced in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible has nothing whatsoever to do with religion.
The Bible is not a religious book – it’s a history book.
That’s what Tennessee state lawmakers are saying about their new bill to make public Ten Commandments displays legal in government buildings everywhere. State Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, insists that his legislation authorizing local governments to display the Ten Commandments along with other historical documents is not about religion.
The state House approved the bill 93-0 on March 19. The Senate followed with a 30-0 vote last Monday. Next it goes to the desk of TN Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk for review and signature. “I anticipate he’ll sign it,” said a government spokesman.
After all, “it’s not about religion … It’s about history,” Rep. Hill declares with a straight face.
“We’re not talking about holding a church service. We’re not talking about having a Bible study at the courthouse,” he deadpans. “What we’re talking about is remembering who we are, where we came from and not being ashamed of that.”
So the Ten Commandments tell us all who we are and where we all came from.
And all this time, I thought I came from Indiana.
Hill explained that it’s up to local governments to decide how to proceed but he personally would like to see the Ten Commandments put up throughout the state. “They contain foundational principles,” he said.
I suppose he means that the first commandment: “I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” is one of the foundational principles of this nation.
“That is not a religious statement,” Hill insists. “It is not meant to set up a theocracy or convert anybody. It is history.”
So I guess the second commandment is not religious either, but history too, according to Hill: “Thou shalt not make any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
Yeah, I think I remember my eighth grade history class teacher telling us that Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, not to mention Ben Franklin, and all the other founders regarded this as a foundational principle. It’s certainly not religious. It’s history.
Nor is the third commandment religious: “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD God in vain;” and the fourth: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day.” That’s not religious. It’s history.
I’m positive as well that the founders were thinking of their neighbor’s ass when they included the tenth commandment in the solemn list of America’s foundational principles: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thy neighbor’s wife, manservant, maidservant, ox, ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” There’s nothing religious about that. Again, it’s history.
Hill said he introduced the bill after he kept reading about groups such as the ACLU suing local governments over the issue. He believes his legislation will provide the “statutory cover so that locals don’t have to be afraid of being intimidated anymore by these special interest groups.”
This guy is clearly not afraid to admit that he did this to spite the ACLU, which he deems a special interest group. A group that defends the Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution First Amendment Establishment Clause is a special interest group. He doesn’t think that he’s representing a special interest group though.
Legislation has been introduced in Alabama this year that would change the state constitution to allow the Ten Commandments on public property. Likewise, in Georgia this year, the state House approved 161-0 a bill allowing Foundations of American Law and Government displays in public buildings. The Georgia Senate approved the legislation 41-9 on Friday.
June Griffin, a Dayton, Tenn., activist who crisscrosses the state urging the display of the documents, said she resents how the courts have weighed in. Posting the Ten Commandments is what Tennesseans want, she said. And if the bible thumpers want it then to Hell with the Constitution, I suppose.
“Let’s put the First Amendment to a vote.”
In Tennessee I’m dead sure it would lose.
On Monday night, Griffin was in Marshall County presenting county commissioners with a framed copy of the Ten Commandments, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. “I’m glad for it,” she said of Hill’s legislation. “It is a breath of fresh air.”
The problem as I see it is that the Ten Commandments promoted by local governments are just not suitable in a display alongside the Bill of Rights. That’s because the Ten Commandments were not foundational in American history – far from it.
Those commandments are from God; they’re all about religion and nothing about history.