Keep Commandments where they belong
Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 16:11
Thou Shall Not Move, a social movement group that raises money to donate Ten Commandment monuments for small towns, will be purchasing Washington County a six-foot granite statue engraved with the Ten Commandments to be placed outside North Ten Mile Baptist Church in Amity, Pa.
Now it’s not so much the church getting this monument that has some people up in arms. It’s a suggestion a founder of the Thou Shall Not Move group, Pastor Ewing Marietta, made in which he discussed the idea of hopefully placing another monument in front of a school in the near future.
Last year, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sued a Connellsville Area School District for sporting a Ten Commandments monument, which has been there since its donation from a chapter of a local Christian group in 1957, claiming it violates the First Amendment and its Establishment Clause.
Chalk this up as yet another round in the heavyweight fight between people who want to proudly define and showcase their faith and those who argue it should stay out of the public eye under the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion. Once again, people from both sides get unbelievably mad, angrier than they ever should be over something like this.
Why should a courthouse have the Ten Commandments out front? Do these Commandments apply to the laws and rights being discussed behind its doors? Besides the Commandment of “thou shall not kill,” no. No one is going to court because they disobeyed their mom or prayed to another god. Kids in public schools aren’t going to detention for disobeying the Ten Commandments, so there’s no reason for them to be displayed on school grounds. I am a Christian myself, but I don’t see why public institutions in America need the Commandments outside.
But on the other hand, why is it such a huge deal to Atheists to travel across the country to get a five-foot monument covered with a bed sheet? Saying that showcasing the Ten Commandments is a violation of the First Amendment is wrong. Erecting them has nothing to do with “an establishment of religion.”
There is nothing wrong with having a statue dedicated to the Ten Commandments; it just depends where you decide to put it. Put it outside the church, or a private Christian school. That way, the Ten Commandments would actually be relevant to the location and would not spark the controversy of taxpayer dollars being used to pseudo-establish a religion.
What it boils down to is people just need to relax over this whole issue on both sides. People should be focused on their own personal issues or larger societal problems at hand, not about whether or not a statue is being put up down the road. If you want a monument to the Commandments, erect it somewhere where it won’t cause any problems. And if you don’t want to be associated with the Commandments, don’t read the monument.