Bill Filed To Allow 10 Commandments Monument On State Capitol Grounds

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LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) – An Arkansas senator has filed a bill to allow a 10 Commandments monument on the grounds of the Capitol.

Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, filed the bill on Monday afternoon (March 9) at 2:25 p.m., and it is called SB 939, according to legislative records.

The bill states that the Arkansas Secretary of State may “permit and arrange for the placement on the State Capitol grounds of a suitable monument commemorating the Ten Commandments.”

Citing the case of Van Orden v. Perry,  the bill states that the monument would be considered constitutional.

If passed, the bill would enable the secretary of state to help private entities in selecting a location for the monument and to pick a time for its placement.

The bill also states that if the legality of the monument is challenged in a court of law, the attorney general may prepare and present a legal defense or request that the Liberty Legal Institute prepare and present a legal defense of the monument.

SB 939 closes by stating, “The placement of the monument under this section shall not be construed to mean that the State of Arkansas favors any particular religion or denomination over others.”

29 comments

  • Sean

    Lawyer joke of the day
    THE 10 COMMANDMENTS:
    The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this — you cannot post ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ ‘Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery’ and ‘Thou Shall Not Lie’ in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians, it creates a hostile work environment.

    • History repeats

      This is proof of wasting time and taxpayer money just to open the door for other groups (whom you likely DONT agree with) to file lawsuits to install calf idols on our government property.

      Those “Christian” legislators could do more good by passing stricter laws agains spamming email to residents in the state of Arkansas, levying heavier penalties for identity fraud, or penalizing white collar crime more, or protecting children in foster care. How about levying a 4% tax on goods imported from China, especially since they have an embargo against Arkansas grown poultry? The proceeds could go to whatever our state government wishes…

      These “leaders” need to quit wearing their faith on their sleeve and stop wasting our resources.

      • Billie Jean

        If everyone lived by these Christian values (that u r objecting to) you would not have to worry about all of the “wrongs” that you have just listed.

  • Richard S. Drake

    How many of the Ten Commandments are actual laws in our modern society?
    Would we want them to be?
    Why not just erect a stone pillar with the Code of Hammurabi, which may actually have more in common with actual law?

    • Darin

      Hope your not trying to compare the 10 commandments to the 300 written laws of Hammurabi???
      But maybe we should take a look at some of them:
      * If any one finds runaway male or female slaves in the open country and bring them to their masters, the master of the slaves shall pay him two shekels of silver
      * If any one is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death.
      * If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death.
      * If any one steal the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death, and also the one who receives the stolen thing from him shall be put to death.
      Maybe we should adopt some of these…it definitely would get rid of a lot of problems and riff raff.

  • Alan Herndon

    “The placement of the monument under this section shall not be construed to mean that the State of Arkansas favors any particular religion or denomination over others.”

    Riiiiiiiight. For people that are fond of using “slippery slope” arguments, they sure do like to try and set up a few Wet Bananas themselves for later use to gain ground in their theocratic agendas. How about a monument using the Wiccan Rede, “If it harm none, do as ye will?” Contrary to these folks, neither The Bible nor any religion is required for the outlining of a moral code. The ideas of not lying, killing, or stealing just make sense for peaceable social contracts. Besides, how would work ever get done in a courthouse if no one lied?

    Adultery kind of falls under lying and stealing, but the level of discord that may lead to varies from fallout between a couple to an escalation that leads to killing.

    Covetous behavior isn’t so much a problem in itself other than it leads to personal dissatisfaction and unrest. Wanting something someone else has itself isn’t a big issue if you can let it go. But, again, if you let it consume you and lead to stealing or killing then you have gone back to the three fundamental principles that make for a peaceable society. So, again, the Ten Commandments and the religion they stem from themselves are not necessary to see that lying, stealing, and killing are just bad ideas for peaceful coexistence among people. In many ways, this commandment is more of a Buddhist philosophy than a uniquely Christian law.

    Honoring your mother and father is nice, but not required for society at large. Some kids have parents that are not worthy of honor and respect. It would be nice if all parents were worthy of such, but unfortunately being a person worthy of respect is not a prerequisite for breeding. So, again, while it is nice and contributes to a peaceful existence, the lack of it is not an offense on the same level as killing and stealing. That one would make more sense if it suggested that it’s wise to heed the voices of experience.

    The point where the whole idea of the Ten Commandments on government property breaks down is one through four. Many people have gods other than the Christian god. No one person or religion has all of the answers and inside scoop on divinity, despite what those people and religions may say to the contrary. Having “no gods before the Christian god” is not a requirement for a peaceable society. On the contrary, respecting peoples’ different spiritual paths and recognizing they are all equally viable, is a better measure toward peaceful coexistence. The true litmus test for a person’s spiritual path, even ones like secular humanism and atheism, cannot be measured by anyone’s personal religious dogma or unverifiable personal gnosis – but rather whether or not it contributes to them being a good person. A Christian that kills “in the name of god” is violating the fundamental social contract of “don’t kill” while an atheist that makes an effort to respect everyone’s spiritual viewpoint is contributing to a peaceful society.

    Idols? Well, that’s only an issue to Christians. But since not everyone is a Christian having an altar to Athena or a statue of Ganesha on your entertainment center does very little to threaten social contracts as long as no one decides the statues or altars are cause for killing the person or stealing (for example, stealing the statue of Manannan Mac Lir in the UK).

    Taking names in vain? Well, it may not be polite, but it’s certainly not the downfall of society.

    Honoring the Sabbath? Once again, that’s irrelevant if you’re not a Christian. And plenty of Christians go work at Walmart, shopping malls, retail stores, gas stations, restaurants, etc. on Sunday. So it’s not really important to maintaining peaceful coexistence between people.

    So, the bottom line is only three of the Ten Commandments actually reflect core principles that make significant contributions to maintaining a safe, secure society. Two of the ten are beneficial, but not utterly necessary. One is more of an idea that controlling your own wants leads to better contentment, and that idea can be found in Hinduism and Buddhism prior to Christianity. That leaves four that have absolutely no bearing on anyone other than Christians, and even those have not been rigidly observed with no real threat to a peaceful society, save perhaps from the viewpoint of some Christians.

    Overall, a monument to the Ten Commandments on the grounds of a law-making institution has about as much relevance to the greater whole of society as a statue of Superman. And, really, Superman represents ideals many can get behind regardless of their spirituality.

  • Jezuz

    Can’t wait for The Satanic Temple to also confront this ignorant state about favoring one religion over another.

  • History repeats

    I can just imagine our forefathers shaking their heads in disgust over the zealous bible thumping thugs that inhabit our state legislature and their “noble” pursuit of a Christian state. It kind of reminds me of the thugs in the Middle East attempting to for an Islamist state.

    It is this very reason why our forefathers sought to create a separation of church and state.

    • Darin

      By all indications the forefathers would probably re-write all their laws to make where there was no doubt that they wanted the state keeps out of the church’s business. Our forefathers were good, just men that believed in God and our country. They just didn’t foresee the way our current citizens would turn their back to God and twist the laws to make them fit for what they believe. No Bible thumping here…just the way I see it

      • Bill

        That might be true Darin, although based on everything we know about them I would make the case it isn’t. But even if is, so what? Plenty of the founding fathers had some really bad ideas. Slavery, installing a monarch, and no suffrage for women to name a few.

        Is it a good idea to have religion in our government? If you think so please tell which one other than yours you would be willing to have the government promote.

      • Mark

        Keeping the state out of the church?? How about keeping the church out of the state.. Your religion is an optional belief system.. Conversely, the govt is actually the instrument in which our laws are formed.. Politicians did not swear any oaths to any religion and it needs to stay that way..if that idiot in Conway wants religion in his politics then he needs to resign today and start preachin’ full time..

  • VoiceOfReason

    Five words: Separation of church and state.

    Also, keep it up… This is the reason why young people of my generation are shying away from organized religion.

  • Bill

    It is absolutely intended to favor a religion. Lawmakers such as this one simply lack the courage of conviction to say so. The intent is clear but if they say so outright they know they will lose. In other words they know they are wrong, intend to proceed anyway and lie about it.

  • Pluto Animus

    It will be a pleasure to take these Christian knuckleheads to court and watch them get stomped by the United States Constitution.

  • Barry

    Why do we need the 10 Commandments on site to begin with. Now we’ll have to have the Vedas of Hinduism, Noble Eightfold Path of Buddism, the Tao of Confusionism as well as any other religous core teachings placed in marble and placed on the grounds. Before long it will be only a holy shrine and not a place of law. Just another way for religious fanatics to stick their nose in government.

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