Tim Guffey, a Republican county commissioner in Scottsboro, Alabama, wants to erect a Ten Commandments monument there and he’s trying to mask the religious endorsement by adding the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to the monument. And he wants you to know that the Ten Commandments are totally not religious anyway.
Tim Guffey told AL.com that “I’m trying to…erect a monument of historical documents. It’s the Constitution, the Ten Commandments and the Declaration of Independence. I feel like that’s what this country was founded on. These documents helped America become the greatest country in history.”
He said that the Ten Commandments were only included because of their historical value, arguing that their influence on the other documents is a matter of historical, not religious, import. “I just can’t see how you could explain a Constitution – why it was written the way it was written — without understanding why those men wrote it the way they wrote it,” he said. “I feel like taking that document out, if that document wasn’t there to guide them, then our Constitution wouldn’t be what it is today.”
“The Ten Commandments is a historical document and it has nothing to do with religion,” he continued. “It shows that these founders had great beliefs in God and the Ten Commandments and His Word and it helped them get to the point where they were. Their feeling was God helped them build the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. If you read all of the writings of John Adams, Patrick Henry, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, they speak about how that was their foundation that helped them interpret and write a great Constitution.”
So. Much. Nonsense. As I’ve pointed out many times, this claim that the Ten Commandment was the basis of the Constitution is simply ridiculous. 7 of the 10 commandments would be unconstitutional if passed into law in this country. That fact alone makes the claim utterly ludicrous. And I’d certainly be interested in hearing Guffey defend his false claim that those men said that the Ten Commandments was the “foundation” that helped them write the Constitution (especially Patrick Henry, who opposed the Constitution, for crying out loud).
He then expressed admiration for state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who erected a monument to the Ten Commandments in 2001 that was taken down in 2003. However, he noted that “when Judge Moore did the monument, it was for the Ten Commandments. It was for religious purposes. And I commend him. He believed it was his right to put that up and he was going to stand on it.”
“This situation is not that situation,” Guffey insisted. “I’m trying to show people where [the historical documents] came from.”
So this whole thing is just based on one big falsehood. And it’s been tried before. McCreary County, Kentucky tried an identical display and it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2005.