Action Alert

Protest plan to put Ten Commandments display at Jackson County Courthouse (Ala.)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation needs your help to keep the Ten Commandments out of a county courthouse in Jackson County, Ala. 

Although the Ten Commandments represent an unmistakably religious message, the Jackson County Commission is considering a proposal to display the Ten Commandments alongside the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence at its county courthouse. The sponsor of the resolution argues that all are important historic documents serving to remind the public of our nation’s “divine” founding. (Clearly, including the secular Constitution and the revolutionary Declaration of Independent is a ruse to promote biblical edicts on governmental property.) 

On August 15, FFRF Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott sent a letter to Jackson County Commission Chairman Matthew Hodges, objecting to the unconstitutional proposal: 

“The First Amendment mandates that the government can't promote or favor or advance religion. By placing a Ten Commandments monument in front of this building, the county is signaling they have a religious purpose.” Furthermore, “The fact that the Commission would seek to fund this display through private donations indicates that the Commission recognizes that the display poses a great risk of public perception of endorsement of religion.” 

U.S. law isn’t remotely based on the Ten Commandments or the bible, and neither was the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. In fact, the United States has a godless Constitution, with no mentions of “God,” “the Ten Commandments” or “Christianity.” Its only references to religion are exclusionary, such as “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” and that there shall be no religious test for public office. Likewise, the Declaration of Independence is a product of the Deistic Enlightenment, declaring that government derives its power from the consent of the governed—a profoundly antibiblical notion rejecting divine authority. 

Contrary to Jackson County Commissioner Tim Guffey’s claims, the “Ten Commandments have no relation to the foundation of the United States. Our entirely secular Constitution makes no reference to them, nor does the Declaration. Our leaders wisely shaped the laws of the United States on fundamental principles of democracy and not on religious dogma,” as FFRF noted in its letter. 

Please help send the message to the Jackson County Commission that the Ten Commandments has no place at a government building. (Scroll to end to read a news story and watch TV coverage of this controversy.) 

CONTACT

Please contact the Jackson County Commission now to voice your opposition! 

Email:  
Chairman Matthew Hodges and Commissioners Tim Guffey, Jason Venable, Denis Miller, and Stacy Ledwell 
Jackson County Commission 
102 E. Laurel St. 
Scottsboro, AL 35768 
Phone: 256-574-9280
Fax: 256-574-9321 

Commission meetings are held the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month at the Jackson County Courthouse in Courtroom 1. Meetings are open to the public. 

TALKING POINTS

Use your own language or feel free to use the language below. If you live in Alabama or in Jackson County please be sure to identify yourself as a state citizen or county resident. Also get talking points from: FFRF’s “Is America a Christian Nation?” and “What’s Wrong with the Ten Commandments?”

[As a Jackson County citizen,] I am writing to urge you to refrain from displaying religious messages at the Jackson County Courthouse. Installing the Ten Commandments at a government building would send the message to nonbelievers and religious minorities that we are second class citizens. Biblical edicts have no place alongside the Constitution and the Declaration of the Independence. The Ten Commandments run contrary to the Declaration of Independence, a work of the Enlightenment declaring that “all men are created equal” and that government is instituted by the consent of the governed. The First Commandment also violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. Jackson County has no business telling citizens which gods to have, how many gods to have, or whether to have any gods at all! If the Jackson County Courthouse would like to post a list of ten items, it should post our Bill of Rights. 

Thank you for immediately discontinuing the misguided plan to place a Ten Commandments display at the Jackson County Courthouse! 

COVERAGE

Alabama Official Proposes Ten Commandments Display, Says It 'Has Nothing To Do With Religion'

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