First, let's congratulate the South Connellsville Council for doing the right thing (or at least for not doing the wrong thing) From Marc Hofmann of The Trib:
Almost a year after the ongoing controversy surrounding the Ten Commandments monument started in Connellsville, South Connellsville council made a decision about an offer to place a monument in the borough.There's Reverend Marietta again. This can't be good. A few paragraphs later:
During Monday's regular meeting, Councilman Clyde Martz said he received communication from the Rev. Ewing Marietta, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church, about placing a Ten Commandments monument at the South Connellsville Honor Roll.
South Connellsville had to vote on placing a monument at the honor roll, a borough-owned property.Good for them. What's conveniently (and insultingly) left out of Hofmann's reporting is that while it's true that Connellsville's case has not yet been resolved, the question as to whether the Ten Commandments can be posted at a public school has been. By the United States Supreme Court. 33 years ago:
“We were advised by our solicitor to definitely not do that,” Martz said, adding the advice came from the fact that the issue has not been resolved with the school district in their ongoing legal battle and it would mostly likely end with a lawsuit against the borough. “That will put the borough in risk that we don't need at this time.”
Council unanimously voted against placing the monument at the honor roll. Council President Mark Ward did not attend Monday's meeting.
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.Hofmann's piece implies that the issue of posting the Commandments in a public school "has not been resolved" which is simply untrue. Not permissible in 1980. Not permissible now. Posting The Commandments on private property is not the question here no matter how much goalpost moving is tried. Something the good reverend doesn't seem to understand. In a recent letter to the editor, he writes:
Because one person objected to the 1957 Ten Commandments monument at the Connellsville Junior High, residents have been awakened. We are offended because it is God's word. It also is the free-speech rights of the members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles who placed the Decalog, the students, the citizens of Connellsville, Nomalville, Dunbar, Dunbar Township, Bullskin Township, South Connellsville, White, Juanita and every other town in Connellsville Area School District to keep the commandments there. This county is made up of mostly Christians who will not back down, will not sit down and cower to some bully telling us that we cannot tell our children about the Christian heritage of the United States.Reverend, it's not because "one person objected" and it's not a free-speech issue for those who want to sidestep the Constitution and impose their particular metaphysics onto everyone else. It's about our secular government being fair to everyone. Everyone not just the largest group of bullies who are offended because everyone doesn't agree with them.
Doesn't The Lord dislike liars who sow discord in a community?