Friday, March 4, 2011

Yet Another Piece Of Ten Commandments Legislation...

...but this one comes with a declaration astonishing in its complete indefensibility.

Seems that for the past ten years, this one legislator in Alabama (where else?) has been repeatedly, but without success, introducing legislation that would allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in schools and other public facilities, at the sole discretion of the administrators of those facilities - school principals, mayors, police chiefs, etc.

Bear in mind that this is the same legislature which has already faced adjudication and, effectively, knockdown of such legislation before...back when former State Supreme Court justice Roy Moore put a 2.5+ ton granite slab with said Commandments engraved thereupon in the rotunda of the State judicial building in 2001.

But, no, Senator Dial thinks it has a good chance of passing this time around. And why? Behold the breathtaking disconnect that is his rationale, as expressed by a member of the legal team of the organization promoting this bill:
But this bill might not be as clear-cut violation of the federal constitution as Lynn and Neal make it out to be, said John Eidsmoe, a member of the Foundation for Moral Law’s legal team. A number of different religions accept the Ten Commandments, he said.

Beyond that, Eidsmoe said, courts have cited it in opinions and laws are based on its guidelines.

“I think you’d have a hard time saying the Ten Commandments are distinctly religious,” Eidsmoe said. “They’re an expression of the basic precepts that just about every society has been built upon.”
Not distinctly religious?

You might argue that successfully for 6-10. Not killing, cheating on your partner, stealing, lying, or hankering for what belongs to your neighbor...all these are certainly good for civilization.

But the first five are all about religion and nothing but, beginning with the first, "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me." All the rest of 1-5 are couched in the form of marching orders from this very particular, self-described "jealous," God. Because they're - ya know - "commandments." Things that Sky Guy specifically wants you to do or not do.

It reminds me of the time my daughter's Brownie leaders wanted the girls to spend the bulk of their year on a unit called "God And Me" - an adjunct to traditional Scouting provided by some outfit called PRAY Publishing - and tried to sell me on the idea that it wasn't religious indoctrination because it was nondenominational. I held firm and said, no, you are going to offer an alternative activity so my kid isn't railroaded into this program (run by a male pastor of one of the leaders: there's role-modeling for young women's leadership, eh?), or I will go to the regional Girl Scout Council with a complaint that you are violating the core precept of Girl Scouting that there is no religious test or requirement (one of the things that is a differentiating factor from Boy Scouts).

Fortunately, at the end of the year, all the kids said their favorite activity was when I taught them how to make soap in the microwave. Score points for fun over sermonizing!

It's endorsement of religion or it isn't, Senator Dial. Just because you don't name whatever God you're referring to doesn't erase the meaning you hope to push on the public, any more than calling the garbage collector a "sanitation official" makes him something other than your garbage collector.


Anonymous said...

I have to admit if you said name the 10 commandments I could not and I certainly couldn't name which ones the ones I know are. Apparently they are 6-10. ) But here's the thing. If you asked these hard core Christian right politicians (and their followers) to name them and their correct numbers most of them couldn't either.

A little off topic but not much. 2 nights ago on Twitter a bmurray1981 called two people I follow a retard. So I responded

"RT @bmurray1981: @meglanker @OTOOLEFAN ur a retard // Wow. So very Christian of Ben."

Now I had never heard of Ben Murray before this and wasn't talking to him then. I was quoting him and pointing out the irony that he claimed to be a "man of the bible" to the two other people.

Well Ben didn't like that. He Responded...

@CountItsvan @meglanker @OTOOLEFAN I'm just telling the truth, and I think you are 1 too.

@CountItsvan @meglanker @OTOOLEFAN Why don't you guy's go have a 3some and get off my ass?

I tell ya you have to love these men of the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Just read the 10 commandments. Boy the 2nd one really sticks it to the Catholic church. Make no man an Idol. Do not bow down to him. Doing so pisses God off and causes up to 4 generations of children to be assholes (not exact text)

Wonder how Catholics square this with that Pope thing.

Yakki.PsD said...

The same way that money gets squared with it,undoubtedly. Since most Conservatives seem to love money above all else.

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