Recently, the Ten Commandments were once again in the news. This time after school officials tore down copies off of students' lockers at Floyd County High School in Virginia. Display of the Decalogue was in part to protest the February 22 decision of the school board to remove "God's imperatives" from all school buildings.
That decision was made due to threats from the ACLU and Freedom of Religion Foundation to sue if they were not removed. However, threats of legal actions were made again by the ACLU after Floyd High School administrators banned students from displaying the Ten Commandments on their personal lockers. The ACLU sent another letter on February 24 to school administrators to clarify their obvious misunderstanding of the difference between a government entity sponsoring an organized religion and that of an individual's right to religious expression.
The week of March 6, the Floyd County Superintendent, Terry Arbogast, agreed to allow students' display of religious messages on their lockers — for now.
"We have decided to review our policy and procedures to put in writing more specific guidelines for students. Until that review and publication occurs, Jacob [the student at the center of this] will be permitted to place on his locker a copy of the Ten Commandments as requested."
Translation: "In order to stay out of trouble, we are going to honour your pesky Constitutional right to free speech until we can find a legal way to quash it."
Do not get me wrong, I do not care whether a kid gets to hang the Ten Commandments on their locker or not; even in a public school. But I do care when political correctness begins to intrude on individuals' rights, as was the case here.
Progressives like to attack the Ten Commandments not for what it says, but for what it represents to them — not Christians, but right-wing conservatives. Not to say that the association is incomprehensible. In my personal experience, most Christians, who wear Jesus on their sleeve, are not only fiscally conservative but exceedingly socially conservative as well. Display of the Ten Commandments has become synonymous with the impertinent, "When you die, where do you think you will you go?"
Even so, the ten "commandments" still are not at all idiosyncratic. In the United States, for example, we live under a system of government that demands the same of its citizens as God did of the people of Israel, which I demonstrate through legal code below.
For those of you that support the right-wing evangelicals in spirit, but not necessarily through the public display of symbols thereof, I present to you the Ten Commandments of Government. The US Federal government will be playing the role of God, of course, while the state of Virginia will be filling in for all the interpersonal commandments of man (except for number five). Hang it in solidarity. Hang it in parody. Hell, hang it just to be a nuisance.
The Ten Commandments of Government:
10-commandments-of-gov.pdf (957.8 KiB, 409 hits)
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