After Seeing Painting of Hindu Deity, Virginia County Officials Decide to Hang Ten Commandments in Government Building

Back in February, Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia celebrated the opening of its 80th season with the unveiling of a mural painted by artist D.R. Mullins. The mural “was designed to reflect the theater’s global reach and its past” and included an image of the Hindu god Shiva:

(David Crigger – Bristol Herald Courier)

“The Eastern influence, I wanted to show everybody who comes to Barter we’re not necessarily a regional theater, we’re world famous,” [Mullins] said. “I think it speaks of Barter’s continuing trend to go multicultural.”

Well, that’s one way to do it. In any case, no one in their right mind would see this as some endorsement of Hinduism. The artist didn’t say that and no one would take him seriously even if he did.

But community members aren’t happy about it. They took their complaint to the Washington County Board of Supervisors and the city officials decided to take action by… unanimously voting to put up the Ten Commandments on government property:

The supervisors voted unanimously after a lengthy discussion on the topic. They also voted to form a committee — likely to consist of [local Reverend Jerry] Eggars, supervisors Wayne Stevens and Bill Gibson, and a handful of citizens — to look into the legal implications of such a move.

“I support the idea of what you want to do to but I want this done … right,” Stevens said. “When I hang that up there with you, I don’t want it to come down.”

“Christianity is our heritage. I think the least we can do is stand for it and I plan to,” Eggers said.

The committee consists of people who appear to already be predisposed to hanging up the Commandments… but it’s going to backfire after they’re sued.

The sole purpose of hanging the Commandments is to reflect the county’s Christianity, as stated by the supervisors. They’re not even trying to pretend it’s part of some broader picture of our country’s “heritage” or anything like that.

So let’s see if the committee realizes it’s smarter to just hang the Ten Commandments on private property — their homes, their churches, etc. — and a completely boneheaded move to hang it on government property.

How’s that for an overreaction…?

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.