Don’t Hang the Ten Commandments in the County Jail When Eight of Them Are Perfectly Legal

In 2010, Robert Arnold was elected Sheriff of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. And he’s finally figured out how to lower crime rates, help prisoners, and get re-elected all at the same time: By posting a copy of the Ten Commandments in the lobby of the Rutherford County Jail:

Arnold in 2012 accepted a framed copy showing the Ten Commandments, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights from June Griffin, a Rhea County activist.

“Those are documents this country was founded on,” Arnold said during an interview at his office. “Those are documents that all laws are derived from in this country.”

“The job is to enforce the laws of the land, and those are three documents of laws of the land,” said Arnold. “Those are the founding three documents of the laws of this country.”

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Should Churches Pay a City Fee for Safety Inspections?

If a church catches on fire, the city fire department comes in to help.

If there’s a crime on church property, the city police will come in to investigate.

The church pays no taxes for this, of course, but they benefit from being part of a city.

So what about city-mandated safety inspections? They can’t get around that in East St. Louis, Illinois, so the City Council assessed all churches and non-profit groups a $100 fee.

Now, the pastors are flipping out… partly over semantic issues since the city is calling this a “fee” which the churches are calling it a “tax”:

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Borough Council Members in Greenville, Pennsylvania Are Keeping Christian Prayers at Their Meetings

The Borough Council of Greenville, Pennsylvania has been reciting prayers at their meetings for decades. So when a local resident finally told the Freedom From Religion Foundation about it, you know exactly how council members reacted when they got the complaint letter:

It’s tradition!

Why would anyone complain about this?!

We have freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion!

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Rapid City (South Dakota) Leaders Vote to Keep Religious Invocations at Meetings

I’ve spent a lot of time on this site talking about Rapid City, South Dakota, where the City Council begins meetings with an invocation delivered by a “local minister.“ FFRF has sent them warnings about it, but they haven’t stopped.

Most recently, they told a college-aged church/state activist that he was “too young to have wisdom.”

Now, the Wise Men on the council have voted to keep their invocations, because, you know… tradition!

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Whatever Happened to the Young Atheist Whose Family Filed a Lawsuit Against a Christian Rapper and a School District?

Let’s go back to September of 2011, to New Heights Middle School in South Carolina. The school is located in Chesterfield County, a place that’s home to over two hundred Christian churches.

I wrote about an incident that happened there in The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide:

Not only did [Chapman] use his time to rail against atheism, evolution, and homosexuality, he told the students that “a relationship with Jesus is what you need, more important than anything else.” Christian rapper Bryan Edmonds (a.k.a. B-SHOC) later joined him onstage and performed “overtly Christian songs” for the crowd. Even the principal joined the mix by telling students to attend a local church.

But that wasn’t all. Students were told to sign a pledge dedicating themselves to Jesus Christ and teachers were told to pray with students before returning to the classroom. Afterward, the public school’s own website declared that “[b]efore the day ended, 324 kids had either been saved, or had re-committed their lives to the Lord.”

We know about this incident for two main reasons.

First, B-SHOC idiotically posted a video of the event to YouTube (the relevant portion begins at the 3:04 mark):

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