Action Alert

Stop Alabama Ten Commandments Bill

Please make a fuss and protest the action of the Alabama House, which, by a 77-19 vote today, passed an absurd constitutional amendment to permit the display of the biblical ten commandments on state and public school property. The amendment would insert into a section of the state constitution that currently prohibits religion in government:

"Property belonging to the state may be used to display the Ten Commandments, and the right of a public school and public body to display the Ten Commandments on property owned or administrated by a public school or public body in this state is not restrained or abridged.”

According to WAFF News, Rep. Duwayne Bridges (R), who filed this legislation, says
“Alabama should celebrate the country's religious roots.”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Stone v. Graham (1980) that it is improper to display Ten Commandments posters in public schools, noting:

“The preeminent 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.

. . . 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.

It does not matter that the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are financed by voluntary private contributions, for the mere posting of the copies under the auspices of the legislature provides the "official support of the State . . . Government" that the Establishment Clause prohibits.”

CONTACT

Write a letter to your editor, comment on news and social network websites, and most importantly, contact your state representative urging that this mischievous bill be killed.

Contact members of the Alabama House of Representatives to voice your opinion here. 

(The Senate votes aren’t available yet but if you wish to complain to your senator contact them here.)

TALKING POINTS

Use your own words or feel free to cut and paste any of this statement below:

It is an exercise in pandering for the Alabama Senate to pass this blatantly unconstitutional bill to alter Alabama’s State Constitution to permit diplays of Ten Commandments on public property, particularly in public schools. Haven’t Alabama politicians learned anything from the Judge Roy Moore saga? As chief justice, Moore was so bent on misusing his office to promote his personal religious views that he was under court order to remove his Ten Commandments marker from the Alabama State Supreme Court. Ultimately, Moore lost his position due to his insistence on entangling religion and government.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in the 1980 Stone v. Graham decision, has definitively barred postings of the Ten Commandments in public schools. The Alabama State Constitution’s strong prohibitions against religion in government must not be tampered with, and the rights of conscience of young and impressionable students, who are a captive audience, must be protected.

Religionists are free to place bible edicts on church and private property, but our precious principle of separation between religion and government prohibits the use of the machinery of the state to promote one religion’s teachings over others, or religion over nonreligion.

MEDIA

Alabama House Approves Ten Commandments Bill

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