The “Christian” right is at it again in Alabama.
Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore was removed from the bench in 2003 for defying a court order that he remove a granite monument to the Ten Commandments be removed from the rotunda of the courthouse. This time it is a county commissioner in Jackson County who is attempting to gain approval to erect monuments to the Declaration of Independence, the Ten Commandments and ironically the Constitution at the county courthouse in Scottsboro.
Commissioner Tim Guffey, who proposed the monument, has made the preposterous claim that it has nothing to do with religion and that he is in no way “pushing religion on anybody,” saying that all he wants to do is to put these three items out there in the public view because he wants people to be able to read them.
WAAY-TV reports that Guffey said:
“I don’t feel like the schools teach it anymore, I think it will help strike an interest and make people go back and study and read the constitution, read the declaration of Independence, and read the ten commandments to find out what our founding Fathers meant when they established these documents.”
Guffey does have his supporters around Scottsboro, no surprise there. This is the Bible Belt where people tend to have their own version of the history of the nation, and many insist that it was founded on Christianity, refusing to accept any evidence to the contrary.
“I think its a good thing and I support it, I think it would great to have the ten commandments monument,” said resident Wendy Trott.
Patrick Elliott, a lawyer with the Freedom from Religion Foundation, disagrees with Ms. Trott’s assessment of the proposed monument saying:
“The first amendment mandates that the government can’t promote or favor or advance religion. And by placing a ten commandments monument in front of this building, the county is signaling they have a religious purpose.”
Guffey says that while he admires Roy Moore and thinks that he did the right thing, his proposed monument would be different because while Moore’s Ten Commandments were erected for religious reasons, his would be erected to honor the historical documents this country was founded on.
Guffey has said that he likes his chances of succeeding when the county commission votes on the proposal in three weeks. If it is accepted, it will be the first time in the county’s history that the Ten Commandments will be displayed at the courthouse. When the lawsuit that is sure to follow is filed, that will not be a first for Alabama.
Given the penchant of politicians in the area for ignoring the Constitution it will most likely not be the last.
h/t: Raw Story