Ten commandments bill passes in Tennessee

A bill has passed in Tennessee that allows public buildings (like public schools) to hang copies of the ten commandments.  The excuse is that it’s a historical document.  *head desk*

It’s all-but-certain to get struck down in court.  Hemant says it almost perfectly when he says…

They don’t belong there because we’ve never taken our legal cues from the Commandments. Only two of the Commandments are enshrined in our laws and, even then, it’s not like everyone was ok with killing and stealing until the Ten Commandments came along and people suddenly realized they were bad ideas. At least half of the Commandments have absolutely no business in a public school, much less an elementary school.

This community cares nothing about its children because they would rather throw taxpayer money toward fighting an unnecessary legal battle instead of spending it on the children in the district. It’s irresponsible and selfish. Residents should be ashamed of their elected officials. (Also, how many of these residents and community leaders do you think can even recite the Ten Commandments?)

I say “almost perfectly” because I think he’s wrong on one thing: the parents and adults in this community do care about the kids.  That speaks greatly to why religion is such a horrible thing.  It has convinced caring adults that these kids need to know about keeping the Sabbath and having no other gods and making no graven images more than they need money for education.

This is how religion makes villains of caring people.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • http://www.atheist-faq.com Jasper of Maine (I feel safe and welcome at FTB)

    I’ll get the popcorn.

  • steve84

    Ask them to produce the original document please

    • http://writtenaftermidnight.wordpress.com jaime

      Ha! Good one.

  • http://writtenaftermidnight.wordpress.com jaime

    I don’t get it. Even if you wanted to give them the historical document thing, it’s still a specific religious history. This seems like a direct and clear violation of the establishment clause.

  • busterggi

    As long as they don’t try to making boiling a young goat in its mother’s milk a crime I don’t see any problem.

    Oh, you mean the OTHER Ten Commandments? Not the only ones actually called THE Ten Commandments in the bible but one of the OTHER two versions.

    Why didn’t you say so? After all, they are inerrant and unchanging.

  • Alverant

    How about we avoid the lawsuit and propose other historical documents be posted and given equal treatment as the 10c such as dogma from other religions, some quotes by Thomas Jefferson about religion, treaties saying this is not a christian nation, etc. It will either shut down the program or give more justification that this is a horrible law.

    • John Horstman

      Scientologist text describing the rise of Lord Xenu, anyone? I’d suggest reproductions of Joseph Smith’s golden tablets, but they were in an unreadable divine language, misplaced by Smith, and imaginary.

  • Kevin K

    Catholic or Protestant version?

    Catholic version doesn’t have the prohibition against graven images. Cuz the Catholics luv them some graven images.

    • kagekiri

      I was wondering how they managed to get around scripture against graven images…or, you know, scriptures saying that we were all priests and that we were all temples of the Holy Spirit or whatever (thus making the Pope and all those priests pretty pointless, and making their cathedrals massive wastes of resources).

      I guess my own Protestant brain-washing was pretty effective at making me avoid examining any competing forms of crazed religious nonsense; the most we’d do is find attack points or counter-apologetics for other religions, not critically examine any good parts of our “enemies.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1017276335 Strewth

    What about the story of Uzume and Ninigi crossing the bridge from Heaven to Earth, and how Uzume got Ninigi past the guardian at the end?

    That’s a good, wholesome story. Involves the divine son of heaven, sent to be king of men, too.

  • Alukonis, metal ninja

    We’re going to have to invent Federalist Papers wallpaper print, otherwise I don’t see how we’re going to efficiently hang all 85 of them.

    (Actually I think it would be a good idea to have kids read the Federalist Papers and now I kind of want Federalis WallPapers to be a real thing >_>)

    • Ryan Jean

      How about toilet paper inscribed with the full list of all the bullshit commandments from the bible that are mostly ignored now anyway? I’d happily wipe my ass with the prohibition against shellfish, or against wearing clothes of different fibers…

      You could even take it farther and have niche market ones, such as one with all the commandments that place women as second-class, or one with all the verses that support slavery, or one for all the failed prophecies, or … well, you get the idea.

      “Bible T.P. – Because a book this bad is better used cleaning your ass than making you one!
      **Now available in King James, New American Standard, New International, and New World Translation versions**
      (Gold-hued Book of Mormon version available on request — Warning! Do not combine with magic underwear!)”

      • kagekiri

        You know, I heard a conversion story like that at my former church. Some prisoner was converted because his captors used pages of a Bible as toilet paper that he washed off and read and was converted by, or something along those lines. Can’t remember why a non-Christian would’ve cleaned the first page though…

        So yeah, even when it’s literally covered in shit, religious bullshit is still good at manipulating the emotionally vulnerable (hell, it’s also good at CREATING the emotional vulnerabilities if you happen to lack them).

        There are enough copies of that vile manual of victim-blaming anti-humanism; let’s not waste ink printing more of that crap. Recycling Bibles INTO toilet paper might work, though…

      • Tony •King of the Hellmouth•

        Thanks for the laugh. Oh boy. Where would you like your shiny GOLD internet delivered?
        (And can I get the magic Mormon toilet paper please?)

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com James Smith

    One more example of how theists care nothing about the law, good sense, or even human decency.

    They wish to push their delusions upon everyone and none of the above things constitute any barrier at all to them.

  • TGAP Dad

    I see that @2 Steve84 has beaten me to this point, but it bears repeating: “the” ten commandments ARE NOT a historical document without an original. “The” bible(s) – including the apocrypha, the Torah, Q’uran, etc. are in fact historical documents. We have original texts from long ago (in the case of the bible, not as long ago as it purports to be, but that’s another story), independent witness accounts of their existence, and major, world-shaping religions springing from them. The Decalogue is in no sense historical as there are no actual documents (tablets) or fragments, tracings, independent accounts, no mention of them outside of the gospel. You can’t call a document “historical” absent the tiniest scrap of evidence of its existence. I’m going to keep hammering this point because I see this very significant point go unchallenged, even by atheists. If we can start driving this point home, we can win these fights, or at least redirect the debate to its historicity instead of its legality.

    Point 2: I see that American Atheists have STILL not hired a graphic designer. These designs are awful.

  • TGAP Dad

    Sorry about the off-topic point (#2) above. Will repost that under the AA billboard post.