In a rare redeeming act, the Supreme Court rejected Kentucky’s attempt to place a huge granite replica of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state Capitol. This story hit a nerve because my county practically did the same thing.
The governor in 2000 signed into law a resolution adopted by the state legislature that required placement of the monument, which is more than six feet tall and almost four feet wide, outside the Capitol. At the top of the monument are the words, “I AM the LORD thy God” followed by the commandments, a sacred and religious text for Jews and Christians. At the bottom are two small Stars of David and a symbol representing Christ.
Why are people so insecure about their own beliefs that they feel this deep-seated desire to have the government endorse those views? And what is it that they don’t understand about the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
There is no plausible argument for displaying the Ten Commandments that does not violate the Constitution. Here’s Kentucky’s argument:
The states said the permissibility of governmental displays of the Ten Commandments raised a question of “national importance.” They urged the high court to hold that governments may have such displays to acknowledge the Ten Commandments’ historical role in American culture and law.
Hello? Isn’t that the problem?