Ten Commandments monument installed in Arkansas; ACLU vows court fight

A statue of the Ten Commandments is seen after it was installed on the grounds of the state Capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S. June 27, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Barnes A statue of the Ten Commandments is seen after it was installed on the grounds of the state Capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S. June 27, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Barnes

By Steve Barnes

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) – Arkansas installed a Ten Commandments monument on the state’s Capitol grounds on Tuesday, and a civil liberties group pledged a court challenge, saying it showed an unconstitutional government preference for a certain religion.

Legislators approved the act for the monument in 2015, and whether it was appropriate for the public grounds has been debated since. Similar monuments erected in Oklahoma and Alabama were ordered removed by courts.

At the installation ceremony for the some 3,000-pound (1,360 kg) granite slab in Little Rock, state Senator Jason Rapert noted that the Ten Commandments were chiseled into the portals of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“If it’s good enough for the U.S. Capitol, it’s good enough for the state of Arkansas,” said Rapert, an evangelist who sponsored the legislation permitting the new monument.

But Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the group is preparing to file a lawsuit over the monument’s placement.

“It’s a visible symbol of government endorsement of one particular religious belief over others, or over no belief,” Sklar said.

Since Arkansas’ Ten Commandments monument act was proposed about two years ago, Satanists and other groups have also sought state permission to place monuments on capitol grounds but were rejected.

Rapert and other supporters of the monument noted that the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 had ruled in favor of a similar memorial on the Texas state capitol grounds. They said they were confident the Arkansas version would withstand a legal challenge.

But Sklar said the Supreme Court had noted the Texas monument had been in place for decades, giving it historical value.

In 2015, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered a Ten Commandments monument to be removed from capitol grounds there because the state’s constitution bans the use of state property for the benefit of a religion.

(Reporting by Steve Barnes; Additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Leslie Adler)


One thought on “Ten Commandments monument installed in Arkansas; ACLU vows court fight

  1. If the Founding Fathers didn’t “choose” Christianity to serve as a “moral guide” for the America People; well then, they very well could’ve chosen some “OTHER” religion or philosophy to be the STANDARD by which to establish MORALITY in this great country of ours. If it was NOT going to be “Christianity”, it would’ve been something else. Every civilization has a particular “moral code” or philosophy which to go by, whether pagan, atheistic, or Abrahamic. It is IMPOSSIBLE for any society or civilization to govern itself WITHOUT some kind of religion, philosophy, or belief system by which to ESTABLISH some kind of “moral order”; to keep the peace, or to maintain the general welfare of the people. And America is NO exception to this sociological fact!

    Removing “God” or “Jesus Christ” from the “market place of ideas” – that is, prohibiting the very MENTIONING or displaying of symbols of “God” or “Jesus Christ” from the public square – and substituting them with HUMANISTIC terminology still leaves us with an “ACLU” imposing their OWN brand of “non-tolerance” upon the people; whereby the ACLU’s secular brand of philosophy or point of view would be “FORCED” upon the citizenry; being ATHEISTIC in nature; not wanting to be “inclusive” for DIFFERING religious points of view; THUS, something of which, IRONICALLY, making anti-Bible politicians “guilty” of the very THING that they have always accused Christians of being – i.e., being “INTOLERANT” of other people’s points of view on RELIGION or MORALITY; thereby ironically with them fulfilling an “intolerance” that they would’ve at first accused Christians of doing themselves, in the first place.

    The ACLU has the unmitigated gall to accuse Christians of being “INTOLERANT” of other peoples’ religious/philosophical beliefs; when, ironically, it is actually the “ACLU” itself that is openly HOSTILE and “intolerant” of Christian symbols being displayed in public, by government officials who are NOT putting a “gun” to anybody’s head; forcing people to “CONVERT” to some particular ideology anyway; BUT simply CELEBRATING the religious underpinnings (or religious heritage) in the “founding” of this great “American Nation” of ours. NO MORE, NO LESS!!!

    Every other tribe, nation, and empire throughout World History has CELEBRATED their respective religious/philosophical traditions with great pride – and without shame. So why not we ourselves in America!!?? We owe the ACLU no apologies, thank you!!!

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