An anti-religion organization has written us (Laurens County taxpayers) a letter insisting on the removal of The Ten Commandments from a place of prominence in the Hillcrest Square Judicial/Services/Administration Center. Respectfully, we decline. In our view, Laurens County Council should appropriate and earmark a not to exceed cost of $200,000 to retain a First Amendment expert to plead our case before the court of this group’s choosing. Why? Because most of us believe in The Ten Commandments.
If you don’t believe in The Ten Commandments, just walk on by. Nobody’s turning your head. Nobody’s imposing them on you. Nobody should have to tell you “thou shalt not kill”, it should be just second nature or common sense. But some people have more book sense than common sense - they have been swayed by legal arguments that The Ten Commandments are subversive somehow - we’re not asking anyone to live by them - just see them and move on.
You know why The Ten Commandments are posted right outside the Main Courtroom door? Because day after day criminal defendants, all of them cloaked with innocence before being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, walk into that courtroom for, basically, violating one or more of The Ten Commandments. Giving them a reminder of their duties to God as human beings on this Earth is a good thing, not a coercion thing. Nobody is trying to convince you not to be a sinner, just if you cannot do right by people, at least leave people alone.
We are sure there are some legal arguments about the separation of church and state that legal scholars can cite as to why we cannot post The Ten Commandments. But we post in our schools basically the same thing - “In God We Trust” - so what’s the difference. The difference is - we want to tell our children what to do, when we don’t want to tell each other what to do.
Land of the Free. Home of the Brave, remember?
The truth is, courthouses all over the world from lower Manhattan, to Colleton County, South Carolina, to Timbuktu have people come through their doors, in custody, who need The Ten Commandments. If everybody lived by these basic instructions, we would put courts out of business, and that would be a good thing. Laurens County’s only mistake is not placing The Ten Commandments in the BACK hallway where people in custody see them as the last thing they see before they walk into a Court of Judgment.
Placing them in the front hall is for us, not the criminals - sorry, alleged criminals. Another who cites someone as a criminal before conviction, simply based on arrest and/or indictment, is guilty of “casting the first stone.” The commandments are for us to recognize that when you pass through these doors you are entering a Place of Judgment - as close as we can come, as mere mortals, to what awaits us all, The Ultimate Judgment.
If States have the right to mandate posting “In God We Trust” Counties have the right to post “Thou shalt not kill” - it is a simple act of fairness, not to mention free speech. You are free to take the advice or not, that is your free will. It is what qualifies you to be a human being. Glance and move on - Stay and read, that’s entirely up to you.
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