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Nov 21 2013

Cranky Alabama Pol Wants Ten Commandments in Schools

A state legislator from Alabama has proposed a bill that would have public schools in that state displaying the Ten Commandments. And he’s apparently not very happy to be asked questions about it, as Raw Story found out when they called him and asked if other religious documents would be allowed as well.

Alabama State Rep. DuWayne Bridges proposed an amendment to the state’s constitution on Monday that would allow public schools and other state properties to display the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. When Raw Story telephoned the legislator to ask if similar efforts would be made to display Judaic and Islamic documents, Bridges became angry and hung up…

When asked about conflicts with the First Amendment in HB 45, Rep. Bridges said, “Well, that’s not the way I feel. I’ve had it checked out and it won’t just be the Ten Commandments, if that’s what you’re referring to. There’ll be historical documents with it.”

Bridges said that the Biblical scripture would appear alongside the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.

Bridges became agitated after being asked whether there be any effort made to include other religions, such as the Judaic Torah or the Islamic Koran.

“No, no, you’re wrong. Our country wasn’t founded on the Koran nor anything else! It was founded on godly principles, so that’s what you need to put in there, thank you.” He then abruptly hung up.

The Supreme Court has already ruled on this. You can’t display the Ten Commandments in schools. If Bridges knows that, he clearly doesn’t care. But at least he admits that the goal is to put “godly principles” into schools. That will help in the inevitable lawsuit.

22 comments

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  1. 1
    scienceavenger

    If they are just concerned with the principles, and not about promoting religion, then they should have no trouble displaying the five precepts of Buddhism, which forbid harming others, stealing, adultery, lying and intoxication.

  2. 2
    Alverant

    “It was founded on godly principles”
    I can’t help but noticed his lack of examples or an explanation on how the concept of “voting for your leaders” came from an unelected deity.

  3. 3
    Doug Little

    and intoxication.

    Whoooaaa, there that’s taking it a little too far. I think that society as we know it would collapse without a little intoxication one in a while.

  4. 4
    Modusoperandi

    scienceavenger “If they are just concerned with the principles, and not about promoting religion, then they should have no trouble displaying the five precepts of Buddhism, which forbid harming others, stealing, adultery, lying and intoxication.”
    Here? In America? Do you know what America would be without those things? Canada.

  5. 5
    doublereed

    I can’t help but noticed his lack of examples or an explanation on how the concept of “voting for your leaders” came from an unelected deity.

    He gave you a perfectly good explanati-*click*

  6. 6
    eric

    You can’t display the Ten Commandments in schools. If Bridges knows that, he clearly doesn’t care.

    I don’t think he knows it. What we are seeing here is the danger of the echo chamber. By “I checked it out” I’m sure what he means is he asked all his political friends and supporters who agree with him. Maybe his staff referenced some FOX pundits on ten commandment legality or cited Judge Roy Moore. I say “danger” not because I think he has a chance of winning a court case on this, but because using ones’ echo chamber like this results in passing legislation and ensuing legal fights that waste a lot of taxpayer money, for no even hypothetical gain.

    The other option is: he knows it and knows he’ll lose. But doesn’t care because he plans on converting a showy legal loss into reelection votes.

  7. 7
    jnorris

    If I were in the Alabama state legislature, I would amend Rep. DuWayne Bridges’ bill so all the legislators voting for the bill would pay all legal expenses out of their own pockets.

  8. 8
    vmanis1

    1. The Ten Commandments is a `Judaic’ document. He should feel free to add a Christian document or two, if he can find one. (Not the Code of Justinian, please, we don’t need any earthquakes caused by gay people.)

    2. I suppose that he will also act to ban any school activities on Saturdays (the Sabbath), any activity promoting a prize (covetousness), and anti-gay organizations entering the schools (bearing false witness). Or perhaps he thinks that merely posting the list will get the kiddies into Christian Heaven™.

    3. If he wants to post documents that have had an impact on our legal or ethical evolution, he also needs to include the Code of Hammurabi, the British Bill of Right (which directly influenced the U.S. Bill of Rights), and the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights, among many others.

    4. All of the above assumes that Rep. Bridges is an intelligent man who wants to contribute to the education of students. Perhaps, instead, he is a blithering idiot who would be better employed to empty out school garbage cans than to legislate what can appear on school bulletin boards.

  9. 9
    DaveL

    1. The Ten Commandments is a `Judaic’ document.

    Well, he certainly doesn’t want the actual Ten Commandments, from Exodus 34, with all that stuff about not making treaties with pagan nations, the feast of the unleavened bread, the consecration of the firstborn, and the seething of a kid in its mother’s milk.

  10. 10
    John Pieret

    But at least he admits that the goal is to put “godly principles” into schools. That will help in the inevitable lawsuit.

    It appears that Lenny Flank’s Law as to creationists:

    “The ability of a creationist to shut his mouth about creationism’s religious motive is inversely proportional to the legal necessity of their doing so.”

    … applies equally to theocrats.

  11. 11
    D. C. Sessions

    Sounds like he’s one of those radical leftists that the Christian Coalition of Alabama is prayerfully resisting.

  12. 12
    briandavis

    @6, eric:

    The other option is: he knows it and knows he’ll lose. But doesn’t care because he plans on converting a showy legal loss into reelection votes.

    This. Every local news story about his bill and about any subsequent lawsuit is a campaign commercial for him.

  13. 13
    freehand

    Hey, ten commandments, ten bill of rights. Coincidence? I think not!

    “Thou shalt not kill”
    Everybody knows that Yahweh is no hippie pacifist, and never was. The bible means something like “thou shalt not murder”, or kill illegally. Therefore, guns must be made legal, or it just wouldn’t be possible to kill the Heathen righteously.

    “Thou shalt put no other gods before me”
    Obviously a protective shield of religious rights for the Christians in this country.

    And so on.

  14. 14
    teawithbertrand

    Wait…I thought Alabama was now under the control of “radical leftists”. No such luck, I guess.

  15. 15
    TxSkeptic

    My wife’s friend is a magistrate judge handling first appearance’s etc. This person says every, every docket, has someone named Wayne, Duwayne, Lawayne, etc. & says NEVER name a child any derivative of Wayne, they’ll be trouble! The attributes were speculated to all come distantly from John Wayne and his swaggering self confidence and disregard for much of anyone else. Sounds kinda like DuWayne Bridges.

  16. 16
    cardinalximinez

    “Here? In America? Do you know what America would be without those things? Canada.”

    Whoa there Modus…

    I think you will find our consumption/person stats quite impressive.

  17. 17
    Modusoperandi

    cardinalximinez, sure, Canada has “quite impressive” “consumption/person stats”. For Canada. Plus, Canada’s stats are all in metric.

  18. 18
    caseloweraz

    JNorris: If I were in the Alabama state legislature, I would amend Rep. DuWayne Bridges’ bill so all the legislators voting for the bill would pay all legal expenses out of their own pockets.

    I’m with you on that. We could call it “The Restoration of Godly Principles and Tithing as a Testament of Faith Act.”

  19. 19
    caseloweraz

    BTW: There are now just 48 days to “save” Alabama.

  20. 20
    dingojack

    Modus – Well yes, that’s why it’s a metric of success.
    ;) Dingo

  21. 21
    D. C. Sessions

    I think you will find our consumption/person stats quite impressive.

    Poutine doesn’t count.

  22. 22
    chilidog99

    Another bill designed to fail.

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