Attorney: My Facebook Friends Said the Ten Commandments Monument on City Property is Okay, So It Should Stay Up

A couple of weeks ago, in Wyoming County, West Virginia, a group of church leaders built a Ten Commandments monument in front of the county courthouse. They did it without permission from county officials, a detail that makes this story all the more disturbing.

(Of course, even if they had received permission, it wouldn’t have made it okay.)

This is a pretty easy fix — either the church group needs to get that monument off the property, or the floodgates have opened and any group that wants to can put up a monument of their own.

County officials aren’t even considering that second option yet because they’re under the impression there’s nothing illegal about this. The best part is how one official is justifying it:

Attorney Michael Cochrane

Wyoming County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Cochrane said he researched the topic and advised the County Commission to leave it alone for now.

Cochrane said the issue is whether the monument promotes Christianity over other religions, and he doesn’t think it does.

The group who raised money and erected the monument wanted to spread a message of good morality and not Christianity, he said.

Cochrane asked his Facebook friends for feedback and about 280 people of 300 responded in favor of the monument. Those who opposed feared it violates separation of church and state, he said.

Well, shit, no confirmation bias there at all. We should settle all disputes this way. Hey, guess what? 86% of my Twitter followers don’t believe in God! Take that, Bible!

He’s not the only who doesn’t get that your friends don’t decide how the law works. Wyoming County Commissioner Silas Mullins also appears to have failed his Basic Statistics class:

“There’s a lot of banter about separation of church and state,” Mullins said. “The Supreme Court doesn’t make a law, they make a ruling. People in the ACLU try to enforce that as a law.”

He noted that in a recent Charleston Gazette poll “almost 75 percent of the answers were in the affirmative.”

Whoa! An online poll! The least credible way to gather data…

The ACLU of WV isn’t buying Cochrane’s Facebook Defense. They, like anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the law, know that this is just blatant promotion of religion. This time, the Christians can’t even claim it has any historical value since it was just put up a couple of weeks ago:

ACLU-West Virginia chapter staff attorney Sarah Rogers tells the Charleston Gazette that there are constitutional concerns. She says government property is being used to advocate one religion over another.

So I guess American Atheists should swoop in and erect a bench right next to the monument.

Should be pretty easy to do since they don’t even need permission to do it.

(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.

  • Tel

    Actually, I think it’s more disturbing when people who build these DO get permission from folk who should know that it’s illegal. But still.

    Hope this situation is rectified quickly and the monument is taken down.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Although you have to assume they knew what was going on. The people who put up the monument didn’t ‘ask’, but the city damn well knew there was construction going on on the courthouse lawn.

      Heck, an easy way to test this “no permission required” would be to put up a simple billboard with Bill and Ted and “Be Excellent to each other” or Linus Pauling’s “Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error.”

      and see if they don’t get taken down.

      • UWIR

        It would be an interesting test of how evenhanded and/or observant governments are to just show up with construction equipment and start installing secular monuments on public land and see if anyone says anything. I’d be willing to wager that at least some of the installations would proceed without interruption.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Only thanks to a rule of social engineering. If you have construction equipment, safety vests, hard hats, cones, etc, then no, you would not be interrupted.

          And have one guy in a tie but wearing a hard hat standing around holding a clipboard.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Heck the Five Pillars of Islam are ‘general moral guidelines’ that apply to many religions.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Yeah, the county officials knew nothing about it, wink wink, that was just a hypothetical “Think we could get away with it if we did it like this?” conversation after church three months ago, nudge nudge.

    Cochrane asked his Facebook friends for feedback and about 280 people of 300 responded in favor of the monument.

    And? 100% of well-known Ken Hams respond favorably to the sound of a well-oiled piglet.

    There is no way in hell he got 280 separate opinions out of 300 friends on FB. He might have gotten 280 COMMENTS after a couple of weeks, but by then he would have stopped reading.

    • UWIR

      “There is no way in hell he got 280 separate opinions out of 300 friends on FB.”
      I suppose it is theoretically possible for all but 20 of your FB friends to give the same opinion. Especially if you defriend all but 20 of your FB friends who don’t give that answer.

    • Tel

      “Responding in favor” might count clicking “like” on a pre-written comment responding in favor, remember, which would likely boost numbers.

      Also, I read him as saying that 300 people responded total, 280 with positive responses and 20 with neutral or negative ones, whilst he could have far more Facebook friends.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Oh yeah, true there. Blame my being up all night. He probably did a “Click ‘Like’ if you agree” post, which would be very dishonest. Can’t find his page, oddly, but then it’s already obvious that I fail at FB.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    He takes a poll of his Facebook friends as a legal basis, and he’s a bleeping attorney?

    • Donatello

      My guess is that he is an attorney in “The Sims”. That counts, right?

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Starts walking into a wall over and over while peeing in his pants if left unattended… sounds about right.

        • Jeff

          Don’t forget the gibberish!

          • Tainda

            Sul Sul!

            If you ask how I know this, I will deny it!

          • steeley42

            How dare you. They speak Simlish, sir. A rich and beautiful language.

        • UWIR

          Hey, umm, anyone have a pool you can invite him to swim in?

          • Tainda

            Ladder, GONE!

  • randomfactor

    Yup. Atheist monument #2 in a set of 50. Collect ‘em all!

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      God I hope we can get coins for them.

  • Gringa

    Did you ever read the book “The Wisdom of Crowds?” Spoiler alert – the crowd is usually wrong.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Now there’s an attorney you should recommend to your worst rival. He did a thorough research of case law and found a precedent that guarantees success, a little-known case called United States vs. Facebook Friends.

    As long as the judge agrees with Attorney Cochran and Commissioner Mullins that “the majority rules” instead of “the Constitution rules,” (some old piece of paper their 8th grade teacher used to blather about), any lawsuit against Yaweh’s Cider House Rules will be dismissively thrown out.

    Funny how you never hear Joe Klein defending the First Amendment against the opinions of Facebook friends.

    • UWIR

      Judge: Would the parties please identify themselves?

      Defendant: John Doe, defendant.

      Judge: Are you represented by counsel?

      Defendant: Yes, your honor. [Holds up tablet] I’ll be represented in this matter by My Twitter Feed. Will you accept tweets in lieu of oral arguments, or should I read them out loud into the record?

    • JET

      The attorney my imagination envisions is the one who files a lawsuit on behalf of his client who caught his neighbor coveting the new Mercedes in his driveway. “But, Your Honor, it says right out front…”

  • Timmah

    Wait what are the “Anointed” Ten Commandments. Since when are they slathered in oil of some sort???

    • GubbaBumpkin

      Notice that each commandment is followed by a Bible citation, just so you don’t get confused. They would hate to have you think that the “anointed” ten commandments are those in Exodus 34; you know, after Moses dropped the original set in anger at how the Israelites were misbehaving when he got back from the mountain top, so God wrote up an exact copy (“the words that were in the first tables” – Exod 34:1), only some how they’re not exactly like they were in Exodus 20, because God works in mysterious ways and all. You remember how they go:

      [14] For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
      [15]
      Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go
      a whoring after their gods , and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one
      call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;
      [16] And thou take
      of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after
      their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.

      And so on.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      Also, they didn’t want you to be confused and think that the “anointed” ten commandments are those in Deuteronomy chapter 5.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    I always wanted a large graven imagine of a law stating that I shouldn’t make any large graven imagines.

    Also I think it is aesthetically pleasing to have a giant tombstone in front of a court of law. It sort of cheers the place up.

    • Stealth Avenue

      haha! +1

    • Matt D

      It does seem quite appropiate that their “commandements” are on a tombstone.

  • Nox

    How the f*ck are the ten commandments good morality?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      I suppose an example of bad behavior is still instructive.

  • L.Long

    Let the 10 indicators of BS stay there. It will help remind anyone that REALLY reads them what a load of hypocritical BS xtian is. No xtian I know even tries to obey any of the 8 BS statements and they follow the 2 real laws because they ARE law. And if they are taken as NORMALLY written no xtian follows them, because they all have to KILL something to eat and as House stated many times ‘everyone lies’.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Makes about as much sense as the rest of their excuses.

  • BobaFuct

    So a big stone monument, explicitly citing verses from the Bible, and stating “the laws of GOD for all men. They are anointed by GOD JEHOVA as a promise of everlasting life” doesn’t promote one religion over another…wow, I gotta find out what kinda meds he’s on, they sound fantastic!

    Also, that clearly isn’t some hack job of a monument. Something like that probably takes AT LEAST a couple of days to install, given its size (looks suspiciously well-integrated with the landscaping too). It’s going to be fun hearing how the government officials explain how no one seemed to notice this unapproved monument being installed on government property.

    • new_atheist

      The very first commandment says “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” If that isn’t a direct endorsement of one religion over another, then I don’t know what is.

    • UWIR

      “So a big stone monument, explicitly citing verses from the Bible, and stating “the laws of GOD for all men.” ”

      It’s amazing that someone can be so ignorant about their own religion.

      “Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” ” [bolding mine]
      Exodus 19: 3-6.

      The Ten Commandments were given to the Israelites, to be the laws for the Israelites. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that suggests that God expects gentiles to keep the Sabbath.

      • John O’Brien

        So does that mean non Israelites can kill people?

        • UWIR

          It means that the Ten Commandments are not a valid basis for saying non-Israelites should not kill people. Of course, if you need the Ten Commandments to tell you not to kill people, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          At long as they aren’t blastocysts?

  • Machintelligence

    Since they purport to be the an anointed ten commandments, could one be forgiven for anointing the monument with tar sands oil? *

    *It is usually easier to get forgiveness than permission: see how the monument was erected in the first place.

  • alanwil2

    Why can’t the Christians put the monument at a church?

    • phantomreader42

      Because their faith is so pitifully weak it will crumble to dust in an instant if they don’t get to hijack government property to promote their delusions to a captive audience.

    • Matt D

      They have a history of putting their ideas and people in harm’s way, then gloating about negative or positive reactions, either by “proving” they are either persecuted when confronted, or if ignored, saying “god” sanctions their actions.

  • blackwolf

    The Ten Commandments are not “a message of good morality”. They’re backed and surrounded by scores of ludicrous, draconian, misogynistic, tribal, brutal and archaic rules and assumptions. There is no single set of “the” ten commandments. Their message is dominantly anti-secular and explicitly prohibits freedom of religion. With the evidence of the history of Christianity, specifically the way Christians behaved whenever they had the power, erecting a Christian monument on a secular state’s property without critical commentary is almost like hoisting a nazi flag in a Tel Aviv park.

    • The Other Weirdo

      From a certain point of view, that is good morality. (Thank you, Obi Wan).

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Two things:

    1. If someone were to take or knock down a monument put up without permission and not accepted as a gift (which I would think would have to be stated given the nature of the sort-of recipient), what would the criminal charge be? Not that I advocate such things, but what protects it in that sense?

    2. It’s a well-known trope that Christians usually don’t know the commandments they demand be displayed. It’d be a fun experiment to interview people who have just left a gathering to support this sort of thing and see if they can remember them all after having just been in their presence.

    • Major Nav

      What can be erected without permission, can be just as easily destroyed without permission. ;-)

    • UWIR

      I was wondering the same thing. It does seem like one can make an argument for it being abandoned property. To paraphrase Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, if people want to put a religious monument on public land, I can’t guarantee its safety.

      Although, it’s large enough that one probably would not be able to remove it without construction equipment.

      • Jim Olson

        Are you kidding, UWIR. Granite you MUST know has zero tensile strength. Does that suggest anything to you?

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Hit it with a big hammer?

          • Jim Olson

            Bingo! Feminerd, or maybe it would sound more like Bink! Boink!, Bonk!

        • UWIR

          Unless you are engaging in a figure of speech, that’s clearly false. According to this site, it’s 7 to 25 M Pa

          http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_tensile_strength_of_granite

          The cross-sectional area appears to be about .1 m, so it would take at least 700 kN to break it. That’s about 70 tons. What are you suggesting? Drilling some holes and throwing in some dynamite? And then hauling away several hundred kilograms of rock?

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Granite is known to be pretty fragile to hard hits. It shatters. You have to be careful when installing granite countertops in kitchens for that very reason- if you drop it, it’ll break into a zillion pieces. It’s like ceramic that way; very strong, but brittle.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            I tried to use a a large old granite stepping stone as a brace the other day, planting the butt end of an axe on it while I hammered the head back into place. It was *looks around for a suitable item for comparison* at least as thick as a soda can is tall. It broke in half after two hits, and that was with what was essentially a poorly angled, dull, wooden chisel that lost energy from excessive length being used on it while it sat on soft earth.

      • Phil

        You don’t need to move it, just cover it with something that obscures everything written on it or mar it to the point that nothing written on it is recognizable. That way they end up with a large, bizarre shaped rock that says nothing.

        Plan B: Paint it hot pink.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          I rather like painting it pink with rainbows and Teletubbies, but leaving it legible.

  • Keyra

    I think it’s amusing (or rather pathetic) when New Atheists get upset about stuff like this

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Poor wahbaby is crowing smugly for Jesus again.

    • Makoto

      Why? Because the group broke the law by placing a monument in an area where they didn’t have permission? Or because such a monument should not be allowed without equal access for other groups, such as Muslim, Mormon, and atheist? Or something else?

    • Robert

      Do you? Would you be happy if another religion put a giant monument on your lawn? So why do you think you have the right to force your religion onto others? You may be in a majority there and think this amusing but remember Christians are attacked and killed in other countries by those trying to force another religion. Still seem “amusing” when a hand grenade is thrown into a church in Egypt? Well then don’t force your religion on others if you don’t like it done to you. I hope a Muslim group and various cults put them up to, then what will you do?

    • baal

      But you’d be ok if old atheists got upset?

      Would you mind if I posted some gay porn on your lawn or maybe placed a giant granite letter A (or the FSM) monument on the lawn in the front of your church?

      The fact the the government owns land does not make it yours to do with as you please. You only get to decorate your lands not lands where other folks have an interest.

    • Brian

      Yes, demanding that our local and federal governments adhere to the Law of the Land by not establishing one religion over all others is obviously pathetic.

      Sure, it might not seem like a big deal when it is YOUR particular religion that is favored, but just look what happens when ANOTHER religion is endorsed by your government over all others (say…Islam, for example).

      When that happens, you can bet all the Christians will be just as pathetic as we are now.

    • Kodie

      I think it’s pathetic that Christians are so insecure in their own personal relationships with the lord savior Jesus Christ that they have to put up idolatrous decorations on government property and express extreme persecution when those decorations are protested because they’re actually illegal and don’t belong there.

    • Matt D

      You’re a bully who invaded this website to harass Atheists with your specific religious dogma.

      I’m curious…since you’re willing to harass us, call us pathetic and laugh at our pain, how long until you plan to physically hurt those that don’t agree with you?

    • Jim Olson

      How do you feel about old atheists who are concerned with violations of our constitution?

    • phantomreader42

      Thank you for admitting that you hate the Constitution and are too stupid and lazy to look at reality, Keyra.

    • JET

      I’m annoyed that you’re amused. This “old” atheist would protest right along side you and your Christian brethren if someone attempted to promote their beliefs by placing a Muslim, Mormon, Buddhist or whatever monument on public property. Why would you not extend the same courtesy to me?

    • The Other Weirdo

      For all the whining North American Christians do about how persecuted they are, they are all too happy to engage in the same tactics where they are the majority as majority religions do in other countries against them.

  • Major Nav

    Why are they not pressing charges of vandalism? Did they do it in the middle of the night?
    If I erected a large stone monument of a penis “without permission”, I’m pretty sure the law would be involved very quickly.
    Now that I think of it, I’m not sure which monument would be more offensive.

    • sz

      Not that there is anything inherently “offensive” about a penis, it’s just that it PRIVATE. Just like their religion.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Isn’t there some sexuality cult you could claim to belong to so, if asked, it’s not vandalism, it’s religion?

  • The Captain

    Wait, a lawyer asked for legal advice on facebook? What, does he work in the same law firm as our friend rwlawoffice!

    • rx7ward

      Probably got his JD at Liberty “University” …

      • Gus Snarp

        That was my first thought. But no, it was Mississippi College. Which you, like me, have probably never heard of. It’s a Christian University associated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention (which I’ve also never heard of, but can only imagine is a more fundamentalist offshoot of the Southern Baptist Convention). So basically, same difference, just with a name that isn’t recognizable so he has a patina of respectability to anyone who doesn’t google it.

    • nooneinparticular

      Them there is WV rules….Yucker!

  • Greg

    Does not promote Christianity over other religions? Bullshit.

    Read the FIRST FOUR commandments!!!!

    • Art_Vandelay

      Well, technically it promotes Judaism just as much if not more.

  • Regina Carol Moore

    I have a great idea! Let’s put monuments on government property with quotes from our famous and awesome government documents like the Constitution and the Bill of Rights! That might be the only way to get politicians and lawyers to read them!

  • Kodie

    Disbar the MF.

  • eric

    They did it without permission from county officials

    I call shennanigans. Its a big block of marble set in a concrete base. Unless they had a team of commando christian teamsters do it at night, this had at least the tacit approval of the people who run the joint.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Yep. They’re Lying For Jesus. They certainly had a “how can we circumvent the law” brainstorming session long before this occurred. Pity they didn’t bring any brains to the session.

    • Matt Ranson

      That situation literally happened in one state in the last decade. There was no monument at 5:00 PM the day before, but by god, it was there the next morning. I think the court ordered them to get rid of the damned “graven image”

  • loljoe

    Erect another monument AROUND it. Don’t ask for permission, just ask for forgiveness.

    • Brian Westley

      Hmm, if you wrapped the monument in flexible tubing that looked like giant strands of spaghetti, it could look like spaghetti curled around a large fork stuck in the ground. All you’d need to add is a large handle coming out the top.

      “I’d like to buy fork handles, please…”

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Oh my dog but I love that idea.

    • Christopher Joseph Borne

      And then you’d really have a stew going.

    • Kodie

      I think just a pile of dildos up to the top. Someone to take pictures of the removal. Repeat every 2-3 weeks.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Gomer C. Hick, attorney at law: “I researched different religions as far as whether the Ten Commandments is discriminatory or not,” Cochrane said. “Basically a type of Ten Commandments is cut across a lot of religions.”

    Apparently his research didn’t extend as far as Wikipedia, or he would know that various sects enumerate the ten in different ways.

    • UWIR

      Most religions ask people to follow them, so the government putting something up asking people to follow Christianity isn’t discriminatory, right?

  • Rain

    Wyoming County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Cochrane said he researched the topic and advised the County Commission to leave it alone for now.

    Great, now how about asking the “Wyoming County Defense Attorney”. Oh wait, there is no such a thing.

  • DougI

    Just charge the church with littering and have a dump truck pick up the trash. Problem solved.

  • Gus Snarp

    And they say our bench is ugly?

    • Kodie

      I think everyone says our bench is ugly.

      • Gus Snarp

        Touché.

  • iamevolved

    “God” I hate “christians.”

  • sz

    the monument to the right could say “God is pretend.”

  • Gus Snarp

    From the original article:

    “I researched different religions as far as whether the Ten Commandments is discriminatory or not,” Cochrane said. “Basically a type of Ten Commandments is cut across a lot of religions.”

    The Ten Commandments have origins in Judaism and parallel scriptures appear in Islamic texts, he said.

    The monument in Wyoming County lists the biblical Ten Commandments and associated scriptures from the King James Bible. The monument also reads that the Ten Commandments are: “the laws of GOD for all men. They are anointed by GOD JEHOVA as a promise of everlasting life

    Yes, the Ten Commandments cut across “a lot” of religions. If 3 out of hundreds is your definition of “a lot”, it’s not mine. And if you ignore that only Christianity makes a big deal out of them. And that the Jewish Ten Commandments are different from the Catholic Ten Commandments which are different from the Protestant Ten Commandments and I don’t even know about those “parallel scriptures”.

    And then there’s the fact that they chose the King James version specifically, which is the right version for a number of protestant sects only.

    Then you’ve got that “laws of GOD for all men”, which is pretty insulting to everyone who’s not a Christian. And that they are anointed by GOD JEHOVA – that’s not sectarian or anything. And finally, that promise of everlasting life bit? That’s explicitly Christian, and the Ten Commandments aren’t even associated with that theologically.

    Seems to me that any serious religious person who doesn’t subscribe to the particular sect these were manufactured for could find something to be insulted by in this display.

  • Marc_Hutton

    Well as a native West Virginian who became an Atheist at age 13 all I can say is welcome to wild wonderful and ignorant West Virginia. This is not abnormal in the slightest especially amongst the “hollers” of southren West Virginia. It’s why I left the state to pursue my graduate education and haven’t been back to the state in 5 years. In this part of the state anyone that does anything to this hunk of stone without State Police protection is very likely to be shot and killed. These people are amongst the poorest and most poorly educated in the state and are proud of their ignorance and stupidity.

    • Terry

      For the most part yes. Pineville is where my mother’s side of the family grew up and most of them still live there (a couple of uncles, cousins, and their offspring and extended family from both my grandfather and grandmother’s side. It is very Appalachian and very hostile even to me being one of the more progressive minded of the family. I visit very rarely.

  • Buba Einstein

    I think a statue of a Myan holding a human heart up to the sun god would look good next to it.

  • Marisa Totten

    1st Amendment issues aside, how can Cochrane reasonably say he doesn’t think this monuent promotes christianity over any other religion when the very first commandment is “thou shalt have no other gods before me”?

  • Ryan Hite

    I like how they are skewing it but I hardly think the ten commandments are a good example of morality, except maybe a few.

  • Madcat Maverick

    And the first 4 laws of those anointed commandments are testament to the ego of a petty and jealous god. Not something I’d want to look to for ‘morality’.

  • http://www.blankdeluxe.com/ blankdeluxe
  • Jim Tarvin

    Shouldn’t those christians be putting that money into good use like charity work, helping to educate people and feeding the hungry?

    • Dez

      There you go making sense. Stop that atheist logic. LOL

  • PA_Year_of_the_Bible

    Local atheists should simply pick up the monument, and take it to the police as found/abandoned property. If the police accept it, then we watch to see if they place it back on public property. If they do that, then it is the government doing the religious promotion, not a private group. If the police don’t accept it, then the atheists shold post a notice at the spot where the monument had been, advising that they found an abandoned/lost monument at that spot, and they are storing it for, say, 3 months, for safekeeping, and if not claimed, it will be disposed of. This is what we intend to do this Nov./Dec. with a local nativity scene that is placed on public property by a private group each year, supposedly without the knowledge or permission of the town.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Great plan with a nativity scene, but a granite monument embedded in the ground is not “simply” moved.

      Hmm, if you advertise a “lost” nativity scene, and they pick it up and put it back in the same spot, I reckon that’s willful abandonment. Make sure to get video documentation!

  • Alabama Tom Henry Swann

    look at all the hate towards god lol poor souls, you say he doesn’t exist yet you have to believe he exists to hate him, otherwise why bother? MORONS

    • Dez

      Apparently obeying the laws doesn’t apply to you Christians. Unlike you atheists actually respect the law.

    • martinrc

      No one is hating towards your god character from your myths, we are hating on the Constitution of the United States being ignored because some group isn’t secure enough in their beliefs that they have to force it on others through trying to display state establishment of their god characters to do list. And since atheists believe that the Constitution exists, and that religious people exist, according to your standards of necessity to believe to hate are met. (though side note; someone can hate a fictional character as many Christians do display and pronounce hate towards other religions gods and other fictional characters from movies and novels, or does that mean they believe in those gods and characters too?)

    • Kodie

      Believers believe that a big goon in the sky exists and use it to bully other people. I don’t have to believe in the big goon to find the behavior of mere earthling big-goon-worshippers offensive and intolerable and intrusive to my own personal freedom. Why do you believe in this big goon in the sky? Why do you think he’s going to do something to you if I don’t change my act to suit your judgment? I mean, you have an imaginary friend, so I don’t really have to respect you or do whatever you want. Nobody does and nobody should.

      Besides that, it says in the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution that the government stay out of it. Are your beliefs so weak that you need reinforcement from the law? Nobody needs your pity, asshole, you’re the one who should be pitied. I don’t personally have the time for that.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Apparently it would be too hard for you to educate yourself about an issue before frothing about it? It would be asking so much for you to use Google for five seconds, or even basic logic, in constructing your rants.

      Good job of representing Christ there by the way, angrums.

      • Alabama Tom Henry Swann

        educate????? I could care less what you think. Let me put it this way……. The monument is there and it remain there. The law of the land is based off the commandments and you for one should be thankful of one in particular. Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Do what you want with me, but leave the poor punctuation alone! It’s done nothing to you!

          I would ask if you had educated yourself a little bit on the subject yet, but you answered that question quite succinctly. Not one item in the United States Constitution is based on Biblical principles. Not a one.

          The monument will either be torn down or joined by atheist monuments. Be thankful for the Anti-Biblical Establishment clause and the brave secularists who have defended it; without them, you would have no religious rights by now.

          Veiled death threats? How very Christian of you. *screenshots* I think I’ll share this with your friends and family. And no, they won’t be stupid enough to believe you could have possibly meant any other Commandment.

          Enjoy.

          • Alabama Tom Henry Swann

            I wouldn’t expect anything less from a moron such as yourself bahahahahahahaha you know exactly what commandment im speaking. bahahahahahahaha

            • godlessveteran

              The one about coveting his ass?

        • Shockna

          “The law of the land is based off the commandments and you for one should be thankful of one in particular.”

          No; it isn’t. Most American law is based off of English Common Law, which was derived from a mixture older Anglo-Saxon law, and Roman law (which mostly dated to the Roman Republic). It’s not based on Mosaic law at all.

          Also, love the veiled threat there.

        • EvolutionKills

          Yeah, because the First Amendment to the Constitution that grants both freedom of religion and freedom from religion, is compatible with the 1′st Commandment (note that the set you’re familiar with is not the actual 10 Commandments that sit in the Ark of the Covenant, but rather a set they made up).

          1st Commandment
          -You shall have no other gods before Me.

          First Amendment in the Bill of Rights
          -Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

          Not only is the Amendment not at all similar to the Commandment, they are in direct opposition. One of the core tenants of the ‘law of the land’, the First Amendment to the Constitution, protects the right of the people to believe in any god they want or none at all. Seriously, you have to be dumber than the dirt you walk on…

    • Ryan

      You have to believe he exists to hate him? We don’t hate him. We don’t even believe in him.

      Pro tip: the law of the land is not based on the commandments. Moreover, even if it were, it wouldn’t make this monument any more legal. But, given your writing ability, I’m guessing you never went to law school.

    • godlessveteran

      It’s not your god we despise, but its ill-mannered, vulgar, inbred followers who threaten violence upon us for refusing to believe nonsense.

    • Jim Olson

      I have no feelings about your god one way or tuther. Why would you want to convince yourself that I hate something that doesn’t exist?

  • nooneinparticular

    Being a WV native, I can attest to how stupid the lot of them are. Stupid inbreds!

  • SeekerLancer

    Why go to law school when you can simply get all of your legal advice on Facebook!

  • jon arnold

    All it’s going to lead to is, the county getting sued and wasting tax payers dollars when that money should be going to education and infrastructure.

  • Mike

    So, this isn’t city property, just something left on city property. I think someone should just clean up the trash some group left on the ground.

  • Fujikoma

    Leaving a bench won’t drive the point home. Throw up the satanic ten commandments with a big ‘Satanic 10 Commandments’ at the top. That will demonstrate what the freethinking bench can’t. The courts would probably have to adopt a ‘Satan test’ to verify if the government was promoting/endorsing religion.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    How wonderful to see majoritarianism alive and well, in this country which was originally structured in such a way as to prevent it from taking hold. Way to go! It’s obvious Cochrane learned a great deal while he was in law school. He’s a legal genius!

  • Sue Blue

    Because nothing screams piety like a big list of rules on a rock. Right.

    Someone should tell them it looks like a tombstone.

  • Fireball
  • http://zexks.blogspot.com/ Zexks

    I gotta say Hemant, every time i read on of your article it makes me laugh. You’re a damn good writer.

  • ShoeUnited

    So, if this slab of granite was erected and nobody is claiming it. It’s there without anyone’s permission.

    So what’s to stop anyone from removing it? You can’t get charged with vandalism for picking up some trash someone threw into your yard or your neighbor’s yard.

  • Jesus4life

    If you don’t believe God exists, the only hope you have is that he’s not there!!!

    • godlessveteran

      Vile spamrat.

    • Jim Olson

      That Tee slogan makes absolutely no sense at all, but then what did I expect.

  • Jim Olson

    The good lord George Carlin has the definitive take on the ten commandments.

  • Ajax Blackburn

    Christ-inanity: 10 commandments, Jew-inanity: 613 commandments.
    A monument with 10 commandments promotes, refers to and is a direct call to Christianity. Cochrane is wrong.

  • Kristy Morgan

    I live in Wyoming County. The towns around here are very, very small and everyone knows everyone. I guarantee this wasn’t exactly “without permission”. Maybe they didn’t get legal permission but it was probably talked about and the government officials probably knew exactly what was going on. It is well known around here that the government and the police do whatever the hell they want. It’s always been that way and it always will be.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X