September 13, 2012

Justice Delayed, As They Say...

And yet yesterday:
The Connellsville Area school board voted to unanimously tonight to delay making any decisions about what to do with a controversial Ten Commandments monument.
But the only real decision to be made is when to move it because keeping it on school grounds is clearly unconstitutional.

So it has to be moved.

Let's dig deeper into why the placement of the monument is unconstitutional.

Here, again, is Stone v Graham:
The pre-eminent purpose for posting the Ten Commandments on schoolroom walls is plainly religious in nature. The Ten Commandments are undeniably a sacred text in the Jewish and Christian faiths, and no legislative recitation of a supposed secular purpose can blind us to that fact. The Commandments do not confine themselves to arguably secular matters, such as honoring one's parents, killing or murder, adultery, stealing, false witness, and covetousness. See Exodus 20: 12-17; Deuteronomy 5: 16-21. Rather, the first part of the Commandments concerns the religious duties of believers: worshipping the Lord God alone, avoiding idolatry, not using the Lord's name in vain, and observing the Sabbath Day. See Exodus 20: 1-11; Deuteronomy 5: 6-15.

This is not a case in which the Ten Commandments are integrated into the school curriculum, where the Bible may constitutionally be used in an appropriate study of history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, or the like. Posting of religious texts on the wall serves no such educational function. If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.
Not permissible.

This was decided in 1980 - before many of you were even born.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I have to agree with you. There is no educational benefit to posting up the Ten Commandments on school walls. I could see if it was a private religious school, but not public school. It falls under the same reason why teachers don't discuss any other types of religion in the classroom. Putting up the ten commandments could also on some grounds be a breach of Church vs. State rules and boundaries. Some people may disagree but see it as this. It would be no different if you walked into a court house and inside the court room was phrases from the bible, the Koran, or even seeing a crucifix or any other type of religious item. They must realize that America has a freedom of religion which also constitutes a freedom to not be surrounded my religion if you don't believe.