In addition to making it easier to sneak creationism into our public schools, this week lawmakers in the great state of Tennessee also made the bold decision to protect The Ten Commandments.
“The House has voted to allow public buildings to display such “historically significant documents” as the Ten Commandments, the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence. The chamber voted 93-0 in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough on Monday with minimal debate. The measure would allow the documents to be displayed in the form of statues, monuments, memorials, tablets or in any other way that in the words of the legislation “respects the dignity and solemnity of such documents.”
A few questions: First—93-0?! Really? You could draft a resolution stating that Peyton Manning Sure Was Awesome When He Played at UT, and someone would oppose it.
Second. Who gets to decide what constitutes a “historically significant document”? In Tennessee, that could include Elvis’ grade card from Humes High School.
Third: Is this a bad time to bring up church and state, separation-wise? Writes Betsy Phillips in the Nashville Scene, “The broad issue is whether a city or a state displaying the Ten Commandments is implicitly endorsing the merits of the religions that follow them (and the courts usually say that it is).”
To that point, the blog God Discussion reports: “The sponsor of the bill claims that the legislation is aimed to display history and is not a government endorsement of religion.” Ahhh. Well, then. History. Not religion. That settles everything.
Good to know there was “minimal debate” over this.