Ten Commandments Bill Brewing At State Capitol

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT) – The Ten Commandments are back in the spotlight in Alabama, with state lawmakers pondering a bill that would allow the biblical decrees to be displayed on state property.

HB 45, better known as “The Ten Commandments” bill, has already passed through the Alabama House by an overwhelming margin and now awaits a vote in the Senate. Courthouses, schools and other state-owned facilities would be allowed to post the Ten Commandments as long as they’re mixed with other historical legal documents like the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence.

The bill is a proposed constitutional amendment, meaning Alabama voters would have the final say. Proponents of the legislation say the move is a nod to the impact the Ten Commandments has made on America’s legal system, and does not violate the Establishment Clause in the U.S. Constitution.

“It shaped our laws, it shaped our history, it’s a part of America,” said Pastor Wayne Benson of Huntsville, who supports the bill. “So many of our laws are based on the Ten Commandments… the historical value of the Ten Commandments I think is very important.”

Opponents of the bill are already threatening legal action. ACLU of Alabama Executive Director Susan Watson said attorneys for her group will review the legislation before making a final decision.

“I’m just not sure that this bill is necessary,” said Watson. “Telling us to only worship one God, the first few commandments have nothing to do with our judicial system.”

Legal opinions on the bill vary, but one local legal analyst said he does not believe it violates the Constitution.

“It will certainly be tested, it will go to federal court,” said Huntsville attorney Mark McDaniel. “A lot of lawyers, probably nine out of 10 lawyers, will say it will be struck down, is dead on arrival. I don’t necessarily say that… The Supreme Court could look at this and say ‘Look, having the Ten Commandments in schools or buildings along with other important documents in this country, that’s not establishing a religion and it’s certainly not prohibiting the free exercise thereof. And that’s what the First Amendment says.”

The bill allows but does not force courthouses, schools and other facilities to display the Ten Commandments.

In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Ten Commandments displays in two Kentucky courthouses. But the court did approve a Ten Commandments display that was combined with other historical monuments and markers on the Texas Capitol lawn.

61 comments

  • George Riley

    Will Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, etc. also be able to add documents of historical importance with this law, or will it discriminate and limit free speech of other, non- Christian religious doctrines?

    • Wake Up

      George, Alabama has a long history of spending a lot of taxpayer money on lawsuits that they can not win for crazy ideas! This is another example!

      • JA

        Absolutely incorrect, Sue.

        Read up on “majority rule vs minority rights.”

        “The Founders had great respect for the will of the majority, but also understood that, as James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 10, “the great danger in republics is that the majority will not respect the rights of minority.” President Thomas Jefferson proclaimed in his first inaugural address, “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate which would be oppression.””

        From one of your founding fathers.

  • Tyko Mäkitammi

    America was founded on the enlightenment values of classical liberalism, NOT “Christian values”. Treaty of Tripoli – John Adams (the 2nd president of the United States of America) – November 4, 1976

    “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

    “Protecting” the majority is an incredibly dangerous and foolish attitude. You should run for office in Alabama.

    Yes, let’s spend more time and money to try to pass ANOTHER unconstitutional law that will inevitably be struck down by the courts after years of costly court battles so we can pander to our toothless, illiterate electorate.

    • Sue

      For the people who feel it is important to bring back the Ten Commandments as I do you obvious do not understand the reason. Sounds like you read a book and quote what sounds good to you. We should not have to spend a penny trying to bring back what was taken away in the first place. You obvious do not have a high opinion of Alabama and certainly not from here. Quotes and observing is not the same as realizing what it is all about.

      • Tyko Mäkitammi

        Jokes on you, I was born and raised in Alabama, and I’m going to stay here and fight your authoritarian agenda to my last breath.

      • Sue

        Really? You seem to hate everything here so no loss if you exit. “If,” you were born here you must have really hated that- ha!

      • JA

        I don’t know that he/she hates everything…

        Gays? Poor? Muslims? While there are certainly exceptions, one particular group seems to largely be hateful against certain other groups.

      • SB

        Sue, you are a bigot. What makes you think, or anyone else who wants to bring the Ten Commandments back, that your believes are better or superior than Tyko’s… or mine in that matter? Is that what they teach you in Bible School… Is that what love thy neighbor means…?

        Just wondering, do you have the Ten Commandments in your house?

        And just for you information, and if we are a nation of laws, the only way the 10 Commandments can be displayed on public property is to abide the U.S. Constitution, which assures that government cannot establish a religion or promote one religion over another. So Alabama would be required to permit other religions to display their own iconic symbols and teachings alongside the 10 Commandments. In Florida, besides the 10 Commandments, there are also displays for the Flying Spaghetti Monster and a beer can pole for Festivus. In Oklahoma, a large marble Satanic Temple monument will be installed and Muslims have said they will erect a display as well. The Zorasters, Hindi, Buddhists, Jainists, Jews, etc, would also be allowed to erect displays. Adequate space would be required for all displays. Moreover, funds for the displays cannot be taxpayer money. Is this really what Alabama wishes to do? Or does the Alabama legislature just want to pass legislation for show that will be immediately struck down by the courts? As usual, conservatives just pick and choose which parts of the U.S. Constitution they want to support.

        I think the Constitution of the United States needs to be posted and learned, so that theocratic power mongers like you will understand what the restrictions against state-sponsored religion means.

        Furthermore, If the Ten Commandments aren’t being taught at home, posting them in a courthouse or classroom won’t make things better. If they ARE being taught at home, posting them in a courthouse or classroom is unnecessary.

        Nice to know that the people who voted for this violated their oath of office in doing so.

      • Sue

        I was brought up to respect the rights of others. If I go to another state or country I DO NOT go there trying to take over and push my way in. I DO NOT slam, degrade and condemn them while I am there and especially if I plan on living there! You and others like you do not appreciate freedom of speech. You want to take over and change the entire. state to suit you. I am sure when you go to someone’s house you are telling them what they are doing wrong before you get in. You are an arrogant know it all about what each state can or cannot do. We have freedom of speech but try visiting other countries and voice your opinion . Your opinion would not be heard and you might end up in jail or worse. Alabama has the right to bring back The Ten Commandments and yes I do have them. in my house. If it were up to you I am sure you would be banning them from peoples houses also. Believe whatever but stop trying to dictate what everyone should do. I do not care for your takeover attitude!

      • JA

        “Respect the rights of others,” except for the ones that don’t believe the same as you. I know it’s a tough concept to grasp, but not everyone wants to see your ten commandments and not everyone should have to. You’ll likely tell me I’m wrong, just to be contrary, but you and your group would pinch a fit if anything from the Koran was put in a public office.

        If you have the ten commandments at home, why do they need to be in a public building? Do you think anyone really needs it to know murder is bad? There is no need to devote the space to an obvious religion-based document.

      • JA

        You do not have to be gay to allow same-sex marriage.

        You do not have to use contraceptives to allow others to have that coverage.

        You do not have to use marijuana or gamble to allow others to.

        Just look the other way.

      • SB

        So it’s ok for you to have freedom of expression but not for us to have freedom of religion. By posting your 10 Commandments in a public place, you are telling us that your believes are better than ours. This is the reason we have separation of state and church.
        When you go to court and they ask you to swear on the bible, you do so because you believe in it. When I go to court and I have to swear, I raise my hand and say “I confirm”.
        We don’t want prayers in school for a reason… many don’t believe the same way you do…. Little David believes in the Torah. Little Indira believes in Buddha. Little Ali believes in Koran. Little Jonathon, the Atheist… well, he believes in Superman. But when you stand there and pray in school in the name of Jesus, it’s like saying to David, Indira, Ali, and Jonathon that your God, Jesus, is better than theirs.

        When you go to other countries, you have to abide by their laws otherwise, they’ll behead you. We don’t in America because we have rules (that’s what makes our country the greatest country in the world) that we have to follow except when you are a dumbass (freedom of expression) politician in Alabama and think that the laws don’t apply to you…. And stop assuming that the people who don’t want the 10 Commandments are not Americans. The only difference between you and us is, WE follow the rules and WE are aware that there are others in this great country of ours who are not Christians. There is a difference between being Christian and being American…

        And what’s the point of having the 10 Commandments in your house if you are not following them?

      • JA

        There you go folks. Very good summary, SB.

        It’s not an attack on Christianity to want the ten commandments out of public buildings, it’s upholding the Constitution.

      • Sue

        Let me see. I am thinking JA & SB is one of the same. Two names & one person. Guess no one can try to get across the point so you are agreeing with yourself. Like Wake up & Free Thinker. You comment & the other agrees. Strange person!

      • JA

        Breaking News: “Sue” Finds True Identity of SB, JA, and the SCOTUS

        Our story begins with Sue. Spending her days commenting on news message boards, she advocates dissolving constitutional rights of others, worshiping sky fairies, and fallacious arguments.

        We met with her at an undisclosed mental institution to hear her story. According to Sue, the commenters known as “JA” and “SB” are the same person. You may think she’s just a loon resorting to the all-too-familiar message board tactic used when a reasonable argument cannot be conceived, but she says otherwise. She explains, “well, of course they is the same person. They have the same ideas!” We ask her to elaborate, to which she responded “I ain’t got no more proof, and I don’t need none! Jesus told me in a dream they is the same!”

        When asked if it’s an unreasonable waste of tax dollars to push a bill that has failed multiple times already, she exclaims, “I’ve prayed to the Lord and I’m guessing the ten commandments will return!” We pointed out the common saying, “trying the same thing over and over expecting different results is insanity.” Sue said with a matter-of-fact grin, “Well I AM in a mental institution.”

        We told her we agreed that it was not wise to push this bill further, and she began screaming that we, too, were all the same person known as “JA” and “SB.” Nurses quickly rushed in to restrain her and give her medication before we were rushed out the door.

        *pats Sue’s head* It’s OK Sue. This isn’t the most ridiculous belief you have.

      • JA

        C’mon, you make it obvious you don’t need any proof whatsoever to believe something ludicrous.

        Are you going to post something of substance?

      • Sue

        When it is so obvious who needs proof. You showed that yourself! Everything I post has substance. You just have to be able to appreciate it!

      • SB

        You know JA, I think that Sue is right. You and I are the same…
        • We are both law abiding citizen, who believe in the Constitution of the United Stated of America.
        • We both believe in freedom of religion and separation of state and church.
        • We both know that the Supreme Court has said that the Constitution prohibits giving any official preference to any one religious viewpoint, and that posting the Ten Commandments in classrooms and courthouses is establishing such a preference.
        • We both don’t expect much from our elected officials here in Alabama, and y’know, that’s pretty much what we get.
        • We both know that it’s an election year, and the idiots down on Goat Hill are trying to wrap themselves up in religion in order to help themselves get re-elected.
        • We both know that the rest of the nation depends on Alabama to provide comic relief.
        • We both know that if you need to see a copy of the Ten Commandments posted in a public place to be reminded then you really need to make a real assessment of you own spiritual condition.
        • We both know that if this bill passes, then there will be amendments requiring statues of The Virgin Mary and Buddha, along with depictions of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Hindu Goddess Kali, and an Olympian and a Norse deities chosen randomly by lot, to be displayed in every classroom and courtroom in the state.
        • We both know that there are more than 4200 known religions and about 1200 Gods. A lot to be displayed without offending anyone…
        • We both know that Article VI of the U. S. Constitution states, State Legislators or and State Judges, in fact, Elected Officials are bound by what is written in the U. S. Constitution, and take precedence over State Laws.
        • We both know that the only “Commandment” that means anything to a politician is “Get Thyself re-elected”.

        What a shame… but at least we have football.

    • Branko Pezdi

      This is quite funny, you quote a passage from the Treaty of Tripoli and then completely misinterpret it. It speaks to the GOVERNMENT of the U.S. not being founded on the Christian RELIGION (not “Values”), which of course is entirely in keeping and consistent with the Establishment clause of the Constitution. In other words, the Treaty assured the ruler of Tripoli that the conflict between the U.S. and Tripoli was in no way a religious war.

      Your statement that the U.S. was founded on the enlightenment values of classical liberalism as opposed to “Christian values” is simply foolish. The values of the 18th Century Age of Enlightenment developed in parts of Europe and by extension across the Atlantic were thoroughly Christian values based on over a millennium of exclusively Christian culture in Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire. The Age of Enlightenment was a revolt against corrupt church/government institutions, not a revolt against Christian values. The Founders and Framers were all imbued with the Judaeo-Christian tradition and their writings and actions prove this. In the specific case of religion – and here is where you left wingers fall flat on your faces in refusing to acknowledge and understand this concept – the Framers set up a system of government that reacted against the concept of the Church of England imposing its exclusive power on society. Read the First Amendment again. How does a display in the public arena of the Ten Commandments, a document that has shaped Western culture and tradition for centuries, in any way abrogate yours or anyone else’s freedom to practice your beliefs? This is the same type of mindless – and totalitarian – P.C. foolishness that prohibits free American citizens from displaying Christmas exhibits at government facilities or expressing their beliefs out loud at public forums. By your inane logic the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence should also not be displayed in the public forum, as both specifically cite the Judaeo-Christian God. The Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves.

      • JA

        Just like you interpret the Bible however you please… “Take this part out, ignore this part, oh but this part should be taken literally, hey that’s the old testament — it doesn’t matter.” Same group seems to interpret history however they please. The founders and framers were not all Christian.

        Just as Christianity has pillaged all pagan holidays and “reinterpreted” them as their own, they’ve tried to take claim to “values.” If you ever get adventurous, and decide to learn about other beliefs and cultures, you’ll quickly learn they have similar values. Many of the religions existed long, long before Christianity.

        Heck, Christianity is a direct rip-off of numerous religions/gods/stories, yet I’m sure they were all planted by the devil to cause confusion. Like dinosaur bones…

        I, honestly, have absolutely nothing against Christians, and I don’t have a problems with many of the values. However, Christianity is not required to have the same values, and I would prefer that religion stay out of places where people of all religions should feel welcome.

  • Philip Livingston

    It is amazing that Alabama politicians, living in a state filled to the brim with poverty and ignorance, can find the time to bicker over such foolishness. If I still lived in Huntsville, I would email my state representitives and say ‘Get The Hell To Work! Stop wasting my money!’.

    • Ptolomaeus

      We’ve been through this already. How many times has this come up in the state capitol? Too many.
      Do you really thing our legislators care about “Christian Values”? No. They care about “Christian Values” only as far as it will curry favor with the conservative Religious Right, and the Tea Party in order to get re-elected. We no longer have Statesmen in the state or national capitols. We only have Politicians. A statesman is, by definition: 1) a person who is experienced in the art of government or versed in the administration of government affairs.
      2) a person who exhibits great wisdom and ability in directing the affairs of a government or in dealing with important public issues.
      A politician, on the other hand is thus defined: 1) a person who is active in PARTY POLITICS.
      2) a seeker or holder of public office, MORE CONCERNED ABOUT WINNING FAVOR OR RETAINING POWER than about maintaining principles.
      You can thank Miriam’s Dictionary for the definition, but not the caps, those are mine.
      Please, show me the Statesmen in Montgomery or Washington D.C., because all I see are Politicians.As for posting the Ten Commandments, that’s fine. Just make sure there’s a lot of room for all the other religions to put up a display.
      Here’s something to chew on.

      Constitution of the United States:
      Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.
      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.
      ~http://www.usconstitution.net/const.pdf

      Alabama Constitution of 1901:
      SECTION 3

      Religious freedom.

      That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.
      ~http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLoginfire.asp

      Tell me how HB45 is not in violation of both the US Constitution, AND the Alabama Constitution?

  • Teri Mccutchen

    If you don’t want to live by the Ten Commandments and the Constitution, then maybe you should leave our country. This is what our country is all about. Just remember, that is why so many people want to live here. It’s the freedom you have here, but please don’t try changing the way it was founded. We don’t say you have to be a certain religion to move here, or that you have to do anything a certain way to stay in it, except pay taxes, and health insurance. Just because a prayer, the ten commandments, or the constitution is posted somewhere, doesn’t mean you have to stop and read it. That’s part of your freedom. Let’s all just enjoy the life we’re given and be ever so thankful.

    • Wake Up

      Teri, you are missing the obvious. You are correct that America is the land of the free. They do come here from all around the world. Those free people are not all christian. It does not sound like you are willing to give others the freedom that you demand! Let other groups post their religious texts in public and you can just walk past and not read them!

      • Ann dunham

        Wakeup you are so smart, why do you try to convince these lost soles ?but its great of you to try to get them to see things our way.

    • JA

      Actually, there was a group of people already here before America existed. Then, you claim with Christian values they were provided with smallpox, displaced, and massacred them. Then, with the Christian values, a large group of people were enslaved.

      This, “if you don’t like it, you should move” argument is ridiculous, and sounds extremely childish. I hear it spouted towards immigrants quite often. Fact: “Americans” were not here first. The natives would have loved if we just “moved” since we didn’t agree with their way of doing things, but instead they were massacred.

      • Skillpot

        Okay, JA, just to help you and ALL others, there are no “Natives” in North America! The ones here, when so-called Columbus came to America, came from across the pond via now known as the Russian area down through, say, the area known, today, as Alaska!

        Just as there are no African-Americans in these United States!

        A side note: GREAT TRUTHS

        ” In my many years I have come to a
        conclusion that one useless man

        is a shame, two is a law firm,

        and three or more is a congress.”

        — John Adams

    • Ptolomaeus

      Teri, please read:

      Constitution of the United States:

      Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

      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.
      ~http://www.usconstitution.net/const.pdf

      Alabama Constitution of 1901:

      SECTION 3

      Religious freedom.
      That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.
      ~http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLoginfire.asp

      HB45 is in direct violation of the above.

  • Skillpot

    Okay, Alabama Legislature, why not stop wasting time, and taxpayer monies on something you know little, or nothing about?

    I would expect a “Pastor,” to know a lot of Bible Doctrine, and if HE does, he would point out to the Legislature to do as I point out!

    The posting of the Ten Commandments on, or in public buildings is not going to help anyone!

    So, Alabama Legislature, just stay out of the SOCIAL issues!

  • Sue

    So if I go to Korea should I expect The Ten Commandments in a public place? or anything devoted to US? fat chance- right? Well I would not expect it because I am in Korea! So if they are here-guess what? It is the US so do not look if it offends you. If I were in Korea put up whatever you want and I would not care because I do not try to push my way of thinking in their country.That is they have always had there so why would I go in and try to change them? Get my point?

      • Sue

        The Ten Commandments were there before and should be again. Basically they are not hurting anyone. If you do not like them than don’t read them! No one is forcing you to belief anything. So many people want to erase GOD, the Bible and any trace of religion out of sight and out of mind. As far as Korea of course I would not force religion. Since I do not “force” anything on anyone. Why would I go to another country and expect them to be posting what US represents or Al? If I tried I am sure that would happen- right? Don’t go around expecting to change everything the way you want.

    • Ptolomaeus

      Sue, please read:

      Constitution of the United States:

      Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

      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.
      ~http://www.usconstitution.net/const.pdf

      Alabama Constitution of 1901:

      SECTION 3

      Religious freedom.
      That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.
      ~http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLoginfire.asp

      HB45 is in direct violation of the above.

  • jamison jones

    Just like in the Immigration stuff of 2008-9, why bother taxpayers with this kind of stuff? People find better things to do.

  • jamison jones

    But on second thought, this country was founded on Judeo-Christian values not classical enlightment liberalism like some guy here says. The founders of this nation identified themselves with the jews and the Hebrew Bible in so many ways. For the un-initiated this a long intellectual conversation which requires alot of you to do some research before flouting your ignorance here. Anybody try me on this one.

    • JA

      Also founded on a separation of church and state. Regardless of the founding fathers religious convictions — which many of them did not claim to be Christian, and some spoke against religion — it was clearly stated that government should not be used to promote religion.

      Putting up the ten commandments would be considered promoting Christianity, unless they are going to allow other religions to put up their beliefs as well.

  • jamison jones

    First and foremost JA, you need to have a good grasp of what the phrase ‘judeo-christian’ means. You can’t just pick and choose things that justify your biases. You want me to explain it to you? Do you know how and where the phrase ‘In God we Trust’ came from? Lets begin from there………..

    • JA

      Both the term and In God We Trust came into use during the 1950s. What’s your point? The country was founded long before “In God We Trust” was added to money.

      It doesn’t change that the separation of church still exists, the ten commandments goes against this separation, and it will most certainly be deemed unconstitutional as it has when other states have attempted the same.

  • JA

    This may be the third comment saying the same, since they’re not posting…

    Sue, you support gay rights, lottery, marijuana legalization, and that all companies should provide contraceptive coverage, right?

  • jamison jones

    Anyone need a ‘chill pill’? JA ur right, sue, baby, u are right too. So where is the middle ground? Personally i think there a’int nothing wrong with displaying the ten commandments in public but thats just me. I’m sure alot of ‘others’ will find it ‘offensive depending on their religious affiliation. Its just what i teach my children is based on my values as a man, father, a believer and all else. everybody else, well, whatever…

    • JA

      Honestly, Jamison? Personally, I have few problems with the ten commandments. For half of my life, I considered myself a Christian and was very active in the church, but not anymore.

      The reason I support keeping it out of public places is simply that there is supposed to be no promotion of religion in a public building. I dislike that the same group claiming politicians aren’t following the constitution when it comes to gun laws, don’t want to follow the constitution when it comes to separation of church and state. There shouldn’t be picking and choosing.

      While I wouldn’t be “upset” about the ten commandments, it would offend others, and it is in a way saying “the Christian beliefs are more valuable than your own.” There is absolutely no good reason to put them in public places, other than to promote Christianity — which is specifically disallowed by the Constitution. People that are Christian surely know about the ten commandments, whether it’s in a public building or not.

      Simply — Not having them there would hurt absolutely nobody. Having them there may offend those with alternative beliefs. Above all that, it goes against the Constitution.

      Thank you, though, for showing a willingness to come to a compromise. I think the biggest problem with politics today is nobody is willing to budge…

  • jamison jones

    Anyway, thats that. Praise as you wish, don’t be disrespectful to others that don’t share in your beliefs.

  • Ptolomaeus

    We have had this fight before. The men in Montgomery are simply trying to curry favor with their beloved Religious Right and Tea Party in order to get another term in office. We see this every election. Politicians drape themselves with the Bible and the American flag in order to get as many votes as possible, when they are most likely “Sunday Christians” at best. Miriam’s Dictionary defines a politician thus: 1) a person who is active in PARTY POLITICS.
    2) a seeker or holder of public office, MORE CONCERNED ABOUT WINNING FAVOR OR RETAINING POWER than about maintaining principles.
    As opposed to a Statesman, which is sorely missing in Washington D.C., and in Montgomery:
    1) a person who is experienced in the art of government or versed in the administration of government affairs.
    2) a person who exhibits great wisdom and ability in directing the affairs of a government or in dealing with important public issues.

    The fact that this is being debated again in the state capitol shows that these esteemed gentlemen are only concerned with votes, and not principle.

    We are quibbling over whether the Ten Commandments should be displayed in a courtroom, or on state capitol grounds. You might argue that the states have the right to pass laws to allow this, and that this does not violate the separation of church and state. You are incorrect in your assumption. The following are copied from the Constitution of The United States of America, and the Constitution of the State of Alabama- 1901.
    I have included the web address of both documents, should anyone care to read them.

    Constitution of the United States:

    Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    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.
    ~http://www.usconstitution.net/const.pdf

    Alabama Constitution of 1901:

    SECTION 3

    Religious freedom.
    That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.
    ~http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLoginfire.asp

    These are called the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause. There is nothing that directly calls for “Seperation of church and state” in the Constitutions of Alabama, or the United States, but the intent is there. Thomas Jefferson called for “a wall of separation between church and state”.

    Based on Amendment 1 of the Constitution of The United States of America, and Section 3 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901, HB45 is in direct violation of both, and should have never even come up for consideration. Passing an amendment to allow the voters have the final say in still in direct violation of the Establishment Clause. This would provide a pathway for the establishment of a Theocracy.

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