Georgia to Get Ten Commandments Monument?

The Georgia House of Representatives has passed a bill to place a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state capitol. It still needs to pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, but I can’t imagine that won’t happen. And I know American Atheists is already working on opposition to it.

House Bill 702, by Rep. Greg Morris, R-Vidalia, would call for a monument that features the Ten Commandments, and portions of the Declaration of Independence and Georgia Constitution to be paid for by private funds. The bill passed 138-37 and goes to the Senate…

Morris said he was moved to introduce the bill after Gov. Nathan Deal had a statute to Tom Watson, a former U.S. senator and segregationist, from in front of the Capitol. Deal said the move was a safety issue as renovations are done to the western steps.

Rep. Roger Bruce, D-Atlanta, asked Morris if people of other faiths would be free to have a monument on Capitol grounds. Morris said it would be possible.

“If the Legislature were compromised of enough people who had the view that the Declaration of the Independence, the Constitution, the Georgia Constitution had some other basis for the freedoms we enjoy today other than the Judeo-Christian values they believed and they reflected in the documents that give us our economic, political and religious freedoms, I suppose they would be free to do so.”

Sorry, the legislature doesn’t get to decide that. If you put the Ten Commandments monument up and it represents the position of the government, you’ve violated the Establishment Clause because you’re endorsing an explicitly religious position. The alternative is to declare the grounds a limited public forum and that allows everyone to put up monuments to their religious positions and the legislature doesn’t have to vote on it. Heads we win, tails you lose.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    Get that group of New York Satanists involved. One press release from them about a public forum that must be open to all religious statements will probably be enough to kibosh the bill. Just for good measure, get a Hindu group and maybe the Church of All World as well.

  • busterggi

    Wonder why Christians need so many copies of the highly selective, abridged Hebrew laws anyway? There are only ten, they should be able to memorize them if they are that important. And you know that if the legislators who voted for this were asked in private to recite them probably none could do it.

  • Wylann

    “If the Legislature were compromised of enough people who had the view that the Declaration of the Independence, the Constitution, the Georgia Constitution had some other basis for the freedoms we enjoy today other than the Judeo-Christian values they believed and they reflected in the documents that give us our economic, political and religious freedoms, I suppose they would be free to do so.”

    So he’s admitting they are all ignorant of the law.

    That was easy.

  • Sastra

    “If the Legislature were compromised of enough people who had the view that the Declaration of the Independence, the Constitution, the Georgia Constitution had some other basis for the freedoms we enjoy today other than the Judeo-Christian values they believed and they reflected in the documents that give us our economic, political and religious freedoms, I suppose they would be free to do so.”

    No, the legislature doesn’t get to decide that — but what a great opportunity to introduce the Affirmations of Humanism, which encompass many of the guiding principles of the Enlightenment and which CAN be found expressed in the Constitution.

  • http://Reallyawakeguy.blogspot.com somnus

    Like dogs marking their territory.

  • dingojack

    compromised?

    ‘You use words but I do not think you know what they mean’.

    Perhaps ‘composed’ is what was meant?

    Dingo

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    “If the Legislature were compromised of enough people who had the view that the Declaration of the Independence, the Constitution, the Georgia Constitution had some other basis for the freedoms we enjoy today other than the Judeo-Christian values they believed and they reflected in the documents that give us our economic, political and religious freedoms, I suppose they would be free to do so.”

    So, in other words, people who have actually read and understood those documents.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    I wonder what the Judeos would think if we asked them.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    It takes a brave man to stand up and fight for the privileges of the majority. Heck, he’s the bravest of all; he’s even willing to fight for minorities, should they be the majority.

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Area Man:

    Our values are up 22% this fiscal year. We’re a good investment.

  • eric

    I like the bit about it being privately funded. So the GA government is essentially a gun-for-hire: as long as you’re willing to pay for them to make some of their citizens second-class, they will. They just won’t do it for free. Yeah, that makes it all better.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    That’s what I heard in synachurch last Sunterday. The preabbi told us while standing in front of the menorafix.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    @6 dingojack – In fairness to Rep. Greg Morris, he may have said ‘comprised’ and the AJC mis-transcribed it. The fallibility of the AJC is established by the phrase “Morris said he was moved to introduce the bill after Gov. Nathan Deal had a statute to Tom Watson, a former U.S. senator and segregationist, from in front of the Capitol.” Perhaps Morris really did say ‘statute’ when he meant ‘statue’ but I have serious doubts that he was the one who left out the verb before ‘from in front of the Capitol’ – surely that error is entirely on the AJC.

  • greg1466

    Dingojack@6: No, I think “compromised” is exactly the right word.

  • John Pieret

    Georgia to Get Ten Commandments Monument?

    Not for long.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    No, that monument will be allowed to stay. It has tradition behind it. It will have been there for weeks! Plus, it is clearly ceremonial deism.

  • http://www.northernpick.com danrobinson

    Maybe they keep doing this so their lawyers can get some practice defending indefensible positions.

  • cheesynougats

    @9,

    It takes a brave man to stand up and fight for the privileges of the majority.

    I will attribute this to you Modus, but I am so stealing this.

  • Olav

    Comprised.