Gov. Asa Hutchinson, trying to regain his bonafides after caving on Arkansas’ RFRA+ law, has signed into law a bill to put a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state capitol. The bill was sponsored by vile right wing bigot Jason Rapert, naturally, and contains all manner of nonsense and false claims.
The Ten Commandments represent a philosophy of government held by many of the founders of this nation and by many Arkansans and other Americans today, that God has ordained civil government and has delegated limited authority to civil government, that God has limited the authority of civil government, and that God has endowed people with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;
In order that they may understand and appreciate the basic principles of the American system of government, the people of the United States of America and of the State of Arkansas need to identify the Ten Commandments, one of many sources, as influencing the development of what has become modern law;
The placing of a monument to the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol would help the people of the United States and of the State of Arkansas to know the Ten Commandments as the moral foundation of the law.
Now that is some Grade A bullshit right there. If the Ten Commandments was really the basis of the law in this country, why does the Constitution explicitly forbid the enforcement of at least 7 of them, especially the first one about not having any other gods? And the notion that the Ten Commandments are some sort of philosophical treatise on government rather than a list of religious rules is simply inane.
It’s also the first time I’ve ever seen a law that anticipates being sued over it:
The legislation authorizes the state attorney general to “prepare or present a legal defense of the monument” should the legality or constitutionality of the monument be challenged in court. The attorney general, the bill says, may also ask a conservative legal foundation, the Liberty Institute, to defend the monument in court.
Weird. Even weirder:
Mr. Rapert, the state senator who sponsored the legislation, told the paper that the ACLU “has no moral authority” to speak about the Ten Commandments from a religious perspective.
WTF does that even mean? What could it even mean?