Again a Courthouse Ten Commandments monument is ordered removed

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Picture of monument on steps When will believers get the message. A Ten Commandments monument on or in a court house violates the 1st amendment. On July 15th a Federal judge reminded us all when he ruled against Dixie County Florida.

The monument was donated by a local businessman in 2006. The county claimed that it was private property and the location on the steps of the court house was a public forum, but the county offered to defend any lawsuit against the monument for free.

“Despite the actual ownership of the monument, the location and permanent nature of the display make it clear to all reasonable observers that Dixie County chooses to be associated with the message being conveyed,” Judge Paul ruled. “As such, the Court finds that the monument displaying the Ten Commandments is government speech and must comport with the Establishment Clause.”

AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF FLORIDA INC v. DIXIE COUNTY FLORIDA

The common defense of these illegal monuments is that they are some how historical. One view is that our current legal system came from the Ten commandments. The attempt is to make them generic.

I doubt that most of those on the Christian Right care very much about what a Catholic theologian like Aquinas had to say, but Aquinas’ point here should be taken seriously: the Ten Commandments are the basis for all law and justice not simply because they are good rules to live by, but because living by them helps us achieve our proper goal of reaching God. The purpose of the Ten Commandments is thus not secular or even legal, it’s religious — promoting them is designed to promote a particular sort of a relationship with a god that one particular group believes in.

Ten Commandments as the Basis of Law

The ONLY way the view that the Ten Commandments are historical or generic is if you support Christian Privilege.

I fully expect to see these kind of lawsuits in the future because it seems extreme believers are slow on the uptake.


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  • David

    True believers are NOT slow on the uptake……they just never intend to quit. It should be clear by now that the only goal of the christian right is to rebuild this country into a theocracy, by any means possible, one stone at a time, if it takes forever. Should they succeed America will become a true hell for nonbelievers like us.

  • Melissa

    There can never be total separation from chuch and state when it comes to laws of courts, considering most laws come from the ten commandments. Do the research and you find the stong relationship between the judicial laws and the ten commandments.

    • http://www.secularleft.us cadfile

      Our government system and laws are based not on some sectarian Decalogue but on the traditions and history of the Roman, Greek, and British law and the philosophy of people like John Locke. The first known written law was founded first in the Code of Hammurabi, the sixth ruler of the First Dynasty of Babylon, who ruled from 1792.1750 B.C. The Magna Carta had greater influence on our Constitution and legal system than the Ten Commandments.

      In fact, if there were laws based on the first three of the Ten Commandments they would most likely be ruled unconstitutional if challenged in our courts. They would bump up against the most important fundamental right in the Constitution: the absolute right to believe whatever one chooses that derives from the First Amendment’s free exercise and free speech clauses.

      James Madison, leader of the Constitutional Convention and drafter of the First Amendment, explained it as follows: “The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.”

      Thomas Jefferson spoke out against attempts to claim that the law incorporated the Ten Commandments when he criticized judges for “lay [ing] the yoke of their own opinions on the necks of others by declaring that [the Ten Commandments] make a part of the law of the land.” John Adams also questioned the influence of the Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount on the legal system.

      The only relationship that can be connected between the 10 Commandments and the US legal system, besides the prohibitions against murder and stealing, is that both are laws. Nothing more.

  • sbj1964

    The religious right in America are like the Borg." Resistance is Futile.You will be Assimilated." (StarTrek) " I say we Nuke 'EM from space it's the only way to be sure ! "(Aliens)

  • sbj1964

    Will they ever learn that being an American ,and being a Deluded christian are two different things ?

  • http://starkejournal.com citizen

    the radical right true believers are doing the same thing right now in Bradford County Florida! Where is the media? ACLU?
    My recent post Bradford County Telegraph, March 29, 2012 (subscriber content)

  • Deborah Watson

    I just bought the telegraph and was so upset by the news that the monument has to be taken down. It was put up by a men's Christian group that did this with there own money. Atheist are the ones that demanded it be taken down. You know they have more rights then we Christians do. This country is not the great United States I remember as a young person. We had a cross on our Water Tower in Starke for years. A tourist going through 301 was offended by it and had it removed. It may come a time when crosses and the commandments are forbidden from our christian churches, but masque and other houses of worship are okay. I'm just so discussed and angry. I have heard they are appealing it. Please let us all know where we can donate money to help out in this cause. A very sadden American.

    • http://www.secularleft.us cadfile

      Religious symbols on public land or buildings is the same as the "Whites Only" signs of the Jim Crow era of the south. The symbols give the appearance that the government favors that religion and those who subscribe to that belief system are favored over those who don't subscribe to those beliefs.

      If Christians get their way to allow such symbols then prepare to see the coming of the Star and crescent of Islam as Muslims increase in population as the Christian population decreases.

  • sbj1964

    This is nothing more than Christian Taging.Like gang members with spray paint.The 10 commandments,the cross,a fish; just gang signs.They want others to know they rule the streets.Happy 4th of july doug.

    • http://www.secularleft.us cadfile

      That's also a great point. Tagging… lol

      You also have a happy 4th