Ten Commandments Tablet Gets Placed in Louisiana Park by Former City Councilman

Check out the new Ten Commandments tablet now up in a Louisiana park:

Not so coincidentally, there’s a public high school right across the street from it.

Where did it come from?

According to The Baton Rouge Advocate, A.T. Furr, a former city councilman — he “paid for the marker and its installation.”

Mayor Harold Rideau supports it, adding “We’re a Christian-based community.”

He’s in for one hell of a lawsuit.

Rob Boston of Americans United puts it like this:

… today I’m going to gaze into my crystal ball and deliver a message to officials in Baker, La.: You are going to be sued very soon.

Furthermore, you are going to lose.

The other councilmen aren’t helping made a case for why the tablet should be allowed.

Councilman Jimmy Pourciau said he supported the idea.

“I’m a churchgoer, so I think it’s great,” Pourciau said…

And would Pourciau be okay with a plaque promoting atheism or Hinduism or Islam?

“I’d have to see it first,” Pourciau said.

Which is politician-ese for “No.”

It’d be great to see some Pastafarians challenge the city on this by asking to install a plaque of the eight “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts.”

Even though I’d like to see a lawsuit, it’d be so much better for everyone involved if city officials just admitted they made a mistake and took the tablet down. I’m not holding my breath.

  • Valdyr

    Why are the Ten Commandments so beloved by conservatives? They don’t even follow them. No mainstream politician advocates the death penalty for adultery, coveting (which, as Carlin said, is in fact the basis of our whole economy), or having different gods.

  • http://primesequence.blogspot.com/ PrimeNumbers

    Because they’re hypocrites?

  • CybrgnX

    Sorry but you’re wasting time waiting for politicos to admit they are wrong about anything. They will do what is necessary to get re-elected by the people who by a vast number think HE is correct. So only a court case gets them removed and then he can go to his people and say ‘see we are being persecuted.’ Instant re-election.!!!!
    They may not LIVE by those 10 rules but they only care about their re-election.

  • Triangle

    I think that that monument has to be high up on the list of ‘most tacky, tasteless violations of church-state separation of all time’.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Cultural war. The ten commandments have become a symbol for the forces of righteousness against the forces of evil. (Even if the social conservatives don’t themselves follow them).

    I wouldn’t really have a problem with them if they omitted the following ones that violate the separation of church and state.

    You shall have no other gods before me
    You shall not make for yourself an idol
    You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God
    Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy

    That is, knock it down to the remaining 6 commandments.
    The other ones are OK with me.

    The only ones that should be laws, though, are not murdering, steeling, and lying (in court).

  • http://twitter.com/alansimpson Alan

    I’d love a little experiment, ala Colbert.

    Cover up those commandments and get the Mayor or this city counselor and ask them to recite them.

    My over/under would be 3.5.

  • Infinite Monkey

    Why not just ask for a complimentary tablet for the Eight-Fold Path of Enlightenment, or something. What’s that one..the first one is “All Existence is suffering”? Lets get that up.

  • Infinite Monkey

    4 Noble Truths-Sorry

  • ATL-Apostate

    There are at least 2 versions of the 10 commandments. It would be a most excellent Poe if a competing “Christian group” protested and demanded that the version which appears later in Exodus should be the one on display.

    Who knows? It might get a few of those fundies thinking.

    nahh. Who am I kidding?

  • Rob

    I wonder what the reaction would be if someone carefully spraypainted over the ones that don’t apply in the US court system.

  • peregrine

    Infinite Monkey Says:

    4 Noble Truths-Sorry

    A more direct analogy would be the 5 precepts.

  • Ron in Houston

    The stupidity of elected officials just boggles the mind. Louisiana is in the 5th Circuit like Houston. We had a case with a Bible display at the courthouse. After losing at the District Court level, our moron Republican county attorney decided to appeal the case. Not only did we lose in the 5th Circuit, we ended up having to pay another half million dollars in attorney’s fees to the plaintiff’s attorney for fees in the appeal.

    The only saving grace is that the county attorney lost in the next election.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Oh look, it was placed in Veterans Plaza. That means if you oppose the monument, you hate our troops. (using right wing logic.)

  • Randy

    I’m a vet and I don’t want it there. Their insulting/hate me!

  • TJ

    So only a court case gets them removed and then he can go to his people and say ’see we are being persecuted.’ Instant re-election.!!!!
    They may not LIVE by those 10 rules but they only care about their re-election.

    Well when a politician so blatantly violates the constitution he should be immediately and permanently disbarred or impeached (or whatever the term is for being kicked out of politics). Perhaps even thrown in jail.

    But that’s just me talking crazy…

  • Delphine

    “Why are the Ten Commandments so beloved by conservatives? They don’t even follow them. No mainstream politician advocates the death penalty for adultery, coveting (which, as Carlin said, is in fact the basis of our whole economy), or having different gods.”

    You know… if you go up to a random Christian and ask them to recite the ten commandments, heck, tell the idiot that paid for the marker to recite the ten commandments. You’ll find this: THEY CAN’T. They have no idea what it says other than thou shalt not have other gods before me and thou shalt not steal. You and I probably can recite more than they can.

    When will these idiots ever learn. We seriously need some IQ tests before people are qualified to run for offices.

  • http://arkonbey.blogspot.com Arkonbey

    Talking about knowing the ten commandments,I have a right-leaning friend who says that the commandment against killing is only against murder. War, legal executions and revenge for murder are justified.

    This guy frustrates me. He’s a walking contradiction: gay marriage doesn’t bother him and has no problem with my atheism.

  • TheLoneIguana

    I like Carlin’s abridged version:

    I. Thou shall be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie
    II. Thou shall try really hard not to kill anyone

  • Baconsbud

    I have always been told the reason that many of the commandments of the OT aren’t followed today is there is a new covenant. If all the old commands are nil and void, why do they put so much stock in these ten?

  • mikespeir

    This is win-win for these folks. If they don’t get sued or they get sued and win, they get their tablets. If they get sued and lose, they get persecuted. I don’t see a downside for them.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Arkonbey:

    Talking about knowing the ten commandments,I have a right-leaning friend who says that the commandment against killing is only against murder. War, legal executions and revenge for murder are justified.

    This is the sort of place you can have some fun by playing What Does The Original Language Say. The word used for ‘kill’ in ‘thou shalt not kill’ is the same used to describe what a lion did somewhere else in the Bible. Just ask him if a lion can murder.

  • http://negativentropy.blogspot.com/ Jeni Gray

    Please forgive my shameless plug, but I just wrote about the two versions of the “Ten” Commandments on my blog a few days ago. That whole story from Exodus 19-34 is a convoluted mess! :D

    http://negativentropy.blogspot.com/2009/09/ten-commandments.html

  • muggle

    Jeff, I have a little problem with that honor thy father and thy mother crap. Be damned if I honor those two child abusing assholes.

    Besides, it’s not cool putting a quotation from some “holy” book on government property no matter how benign.

    For the record, it wouldn’t be cool to put one of my favorite quotes either: Margaret Sanger’s “No Gods, no masters.”

  • Demetrius Of Pharos

    @TheLoneIguana

    Don’t forget Carlin’s third commandment:
    Thou shalt keep thy religion to thine self.

  • CAL

    The ten commandments as I’ve read them (at least one version)

    1 Thou shalt worship no other god.
    2 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
    3 The feast of unleavened bread thou shalt keep.
    4 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest.
    5 Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest and the feast of ingathering at the years end.
    6 Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God.
    7 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.
    8 Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto morning.
    9 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God.
    10 Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk (serve meat with dairy).
    Exodus 34:13-28

    The ten commandments everyone refers to were the words of the “lord” as spoken to Moses on Mount Si’nai, they were not written down in any way. When Moses brings the tablets with God’s rules he finds the people worshiping a statue of a calf, he breaks the tablets and goes back to talk with God(Exodus 32:19), the tablets he returns with contain the above words.
    I’m no biblical scholar or anything, just from what I have read.

    So yeah that makes perfect sense right, lets plaster those on every govt building there is. Anyway off point, I’ve been reading this site for a couple weeks and really enjoy it.

    And does anyone know what are the eight “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts.” of the FSM

  • ChameleonDave

    Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk (serve meat with dairy).

    I don’t know why you put a bracketed explanation after that one but not the others.

    ‘Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk’ means ‘don’t boil the meat of a young goat in milk taken from its own mother,’ in today’s English. Indeed, it seems perverse to do so, and I can see why a culture would have a taboo against such a thing. Rabbis many centuries later decided to invent complex kosher laws regarding interactions between meat and dairy, and they used this commandment as the starting point for it.

  • AxeGrrl

    Rob, I loved your suggestion:

    I wonder what the reaction would be if someone carefully spraypainted over the ones that don’t apply in the US court system.

    Making people actually think about the 10 commandments and, more importantly, why most of them haven’t been made into laws would be the most ‘productive’ result of this whole thing imo.

  • Arachobia

    The Eight “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts”

    1. I’d really rather you didn’t act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou ass when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don’t believe in me, that’s okay. Really, I’m not that vain. Besides, this isn’t about them so don’t change the subject.

    2. I’d really rather you didn’t use my existence as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish, eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others. I don’t require sacrifices, and purity is for drinking water, not people.

    3. I’d really rather you didn’t judge people for the way they look, or how they dress, or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, okay? Oh, and get this into your thick heads: woman = person. man = person. Samey = Samey. One is not better than the other, unless we’re talking about fashion and I’m sorry, but I gave that to women and some guys who know the difference between teal and fuchsia.

    4. I’d really rather you didn’t indulge in conduct that offends yourself, or your willing, consenting partner of legal age AND mental maturity. As for anyone who might object, I think the expression is “go fuck yourself,” unless they find that offensive in which case they can turn off the TV for once and go for a walk for a change.

    5. I’d really rather you didn’t challenge the bigoted, misogynistic, hateful ideas of others on an empty stomach. Eat, then go after the bitches.

    6. I’d really rather you didn’t build multi million-dollar synagogues / churches / temples / mosques / shrines to my noodly goodness when the money could be better spent (take your pick):
    1. Ending poverty
    2. Curing diseases
    3. Living in peace, loving with passion, and lowering the cost of cable
    I might be a complex-carbohydrate omniscient being, but I enjoy the simple things in life. I ought to know. I AM the creator.

    7. I’d really rather you didn’t go around telling people I talk to you. You’re not that interesting. Get over yourself. And I told you to love your fellow man, can’t you take a hint?

    8. I’d really rather you didn’t do unto others as you would have them do unto you if you are into, um, stuff that uses a lot of leather/lubricant/vaseline. If the other person is into it, however (pursuant to #4), then have at it, take pictures, and for the love of Mike, wear a CONDOM! Honestly, it’s a piece of rubber. If I didn’t want it to feel good when you did it I would have added spikes, or something.

  • Stephen P

    The ten commandments everyone refers to were the words of the “lord” as spoken to Moses on Mount Si’nai, they were not written down in any way. When Moses brings the tablets with God’s rules he finds the people worshiping a statue of a calf, he breaks the tablets and goes back to talk with God(Exodus 32:19), the tablets he returns with contain the above words.

    That doesn’t fly. It is true that the story of the first set of tablets doesn’t make it clear what is written on them. But Exodus 34:1 says explicitly that the words on the second set of tablets were the same as on the first set. Even though two of the new set of commandments weren’t even mentioned when Moses was on the mountain the first time.

  • TXatheist

    I’m upset it’s in the Veteran’s Park

  • Demetrius Of Pharos

    @CAL:

    Granted, I had to look these up on Wikipedia, so its not as if I can recite them on command.

    1. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Act Like a Sanctimonious Holier-Than-Thou Ass When Describing My Noodly Goodness. If Some People Don’t Believe In Me, That’s Okay. Really, I’m Not That Vain. Besides, This Isn’t About Them So Don’t Change The Subject.

    2. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Use My Existence As A Means To Oppress, Subjugate, Punish, Eviscerate, And/Or, You Know, Be Mean To Others. I Don’t Require Sacrifices, And Purity Is For Drinking Water, Not People.

    3. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Judge People For The Way They Look, Or How They Dress, Or The Way They Talk, Or, Well, Just Play Nice, Okay? Oh, And Get This In Your Thick Heads: Woman = Person. Man = Person. Samey = Samey. One Is Not Better Than The Other, Unless We’re Talking About Fashion And I’m Sorry, But I Gave That To Women And Some Guys Who Know The Difference Between Teal and Fuchsia.

    4. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Indulge In Conduct That Offends Yourself, Or Your Willing, Consenting Partner Of Legal Age AND Mental Maturity. As For Anyone Who Might Object, I Think The Expression Is Go F*** Yourself, Unless They Find That Offensive In Which Case They Can Turn Off the TV For Once And Go For A Walk For A Change.

    5. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Challenge The Bigoted, Misogynist, Hateful Ideas Of Others On An Empty Stomach. Eat, Then Go After The B******.

    6. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Build Multimillion-Dollar Churches/Temples/Mosques/Shrines To My Noodly Goodness When The Money Could Be Better Spent (Take Your Pick):
    1. Ending Poverty
    2. Curing Diseases
    3. Living In Peace, Loving With Passion, And Lowering The Cost Of Cable
    I Might be a Complex-Carbohydrate Omniscient Being, But I Enjoy The Simple Things In Life. I Ought To Know. I AM the Creator.

    7. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Go Around Telling People I Talk To You. You’re Not That Interesting. Get Over Yourself. And I Told You To Love Your Fellow Man, Can’t You Take A Hint?

    8. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You If You Are Into, Um, Stuff That Uses A Lot Of Leather/Lubricant/Las Vegas. If The Other Person Is Into It, However (Pursuant To #4), Then Have At It, Take Pictures, And For The Love Of Mike, Wear a CONDOM! Honestly, It’s A Piece Of Rubber. If I Didn’t Want It To Feel Good When You Did IT I Would Have Added Spikes, Or Something.

  • CAL

    Thanks for the eight “I’d really rather you didn’ts”

    Stephen P: I know I’m no biblical scholar, not attempting to start a theological debate with you, I don’t put any stock into that nonsense of a book anyhow. And thank you for your thoughts, I do not study the good book as diligently as a good non-theist should to make very well thought arguments.

  • CAL

    ChameleonDave: I understand your point, I grew up in a jewish community and they never served dairy and meat together, I got dirty looks from my elders when I’d ask for a burger with cheese.

  • Stephen P

    @CAL: that’s OK – I understood you weren’t starting a debate. Probably my comment was a bit too terse. I was just providing the anti-venom in case you got into this discussion with someone else.


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