Maybe it would be more miraculous if a huge stone Buddha appeared there

A miracle has occurred in Florida!

The Ten Commandments have appeared at the Dixie County Courthouse.

A six-ton block of granite bearing the Ten Commandments had been installed atop the courthouse steps. Inscribed at the base was the admonition to “Love God and keep his commandments.”

The concept of a Ten Commandments monument was endorsed by county commissioners.

A six-ton block of stone just “appeared”? As in “poof”? Were there angelic trumpets, perhaps, or an astonishing bolt of lightning, or an eclipse? I mean, if a miraculous manifestation of the will of the Old Testament god actually shimmered into existence magically, with a command to “OBEY” inscribed upon it, well, I’d just have to reconsider this atheism gig.

Of course, if it were actually just another gaggle of pea-brained Republican godidiots who commissioned the carving of a big rock and smuggled it into a government establishment, eh, not so much reconsideration necessary. I’m sure the newspaper would have said something if it were a mere exercise in all-too-human pigheadedness, right?


  1. J-Dog says

    Maybe the Religious Appeasers around here have other ideas, but I say Commandment #1 is that the “gaggle of pea-brained Republican godidiots who commissioned the carving of a big rock and smuggled it into a government establishment”, need a good atheistic American smack-down.

  2. says

    ` Actually, I would prefer a Buddha because they are so unusual here! And then, carved below it, his words of wisdom about the judgement of people.

  3. SEF says

    You seem to have mistakenly started another blockquote nested inside the first by using a second opening tag instead of a closing one.

  4. stogoe says

    They should totally get the CSI team out there to lift the fingerprints of angels, and then interrogate the suspects with witty banter, and then their science machines could produce the magical result in five seconds that shows, oh, gosh noes, it was actually put there to promote the opening of a new mall.

  5. says

    Roy Moore made a huge scene in Alabama demagoguing over this issue a few years ago. It was incredibly embarrassing for many of us from the state. We did produce E.O. Wilson though.

  6. says

    Actually, I would prefer a Buddha because they are so unusual here! And then, carved below it, his words of wisdom about the judgement of people.
    Posted by: Spoony Quine

    I don’t think there are any. (Actually, that in itself might constitute wisdom.) His thing seemed to be more about working on your own problems in order to stop putting more misery into the world.

    Though Buddhism does explicitly teach that there is no such thing as a soul, which is a strange thing for any religion to say.

  7. Rocky says

    Who would be surprised if it’s a “not too clever” plot by the lesser brother Bush to get an ACLU lawsuit started while the older brother Bush is still president. If this issue could be pushed through and favorably won using the “right leaning” Supreme Court, Bush the elder would claim a great religious victory.

  8. Eric says

    I wonder how many “law and order” conservatives are clamoring for swift justice in this case of vandalism.

  9. says

    I clicked on the link to check out the Florida news item and noticed that the first headline listed under “Most Popular Stories” is “Mother Allegedly Microwaves Baby.” I used to have to read World News Weekly in the supermarket checkout line for stories like that (amongst the headlines concerning space aliens and Bat Boy).

  10. Mark UK says

    Both left and right have their ideas on the supremecourt. fact is judges tend to be legal people before politicians. If it gets to the supreme court they will throw it out once again.

  11. says

    You know what you should do? Just drive by with a crane and remove it. Or smash it with sledgehammers. It’s not like it’s government property that can be vandalized. If it was indeed dropped their by religious nuts trying to illegally shove the ten commandments in our faces, then it’s fair game for destruction. It is legally equivalent to dumping your mattress on the courthouse steps.

    Just destroy it, it will be funny.

  12. Ian H Spedding FCD says

    Maybe those repsonsible should have paid more attention to the Second Commandment.

  13. says

    Boy, the top of those steps is going to get real crowded if the good ol’ boys who erected that monument are counting on the case mentioned in the story, where the Supreme Court (with Stephen Breyer, of all people, casting the swing vote) okayed a 10 Commandments monument at the Texas State Capital. In that instance, it was just one of 21 historical markers and 17 monuments, a circumstance that dilutes its nature as an endorsement of a particular religion.

  14. Sonja says

    Maybe it is just a marketing promotion for the latest holiday blockbuster movie!
    That’s how a lot of these stupid monuments got there in the first place:

    It all began – in Hollywood.

    It’s 1956. Director Cecil B. DeMille’s epic film “The Ten Commandments” opens across the country. Months before the release, DeMille drummed up publicity for the film by working with E.J. Ruegemer, a Minnesota juvenile court judge and member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

    In the 1940s, Ruegemer launched a nationwide campaign to post copies of the Ten Commandments in juvenile courts across the country. His goal – to provide a moral foundation for troubled youth. When DeMille caught wind of the idea, he suggested to the judge that they work together to erect granite monuments of the Ten Commandments across the nation. DeMille’s goal – to plug a new film. A deal was made.

  15. gbusch says

    How many men with how many levers would it take to put the 6ton block at the bottom of the stairs?

  16. says

    I like the term godidiots but would shorten it two gidiots.

    Being the one who coined the term christofascisti, I keep searching for a shorter, catchier version of the term.

    In any case, I’m so sick and tired of the debate over religion and government. Our forefathers KNEW religion was a serious problem for their former governments. My own state was formed because Roger Williams couldn’t practice his own religion, so he made his way to Narragansett Bay and setup his little colony, with the right to practice whatever religion you wanted.

    Now of course I see Chicago is fighting the creche battle. We did that about 20 years ago here in RI. In essence the courts said, and correctly so, that if you wanted to have a creche, you had to include a menorah, and symbols for Kwanzaa etc. Cities and towns quickly realized the burden that would create and now you simply see a “Seasons Greetings” sign, lights and maybe that nice pagan symbol, a tree.

    Luckily or unluckily our justices are appointed, not elected. So we haven’t been host to the folly of the ten commandments being posted anywhere near our courthouses.

  17. craig says

    if it just “appeared” then it’s not state property, and so defacing it isn’t vandalism, right?

  18. Tinni says

    Somebody should call the scientologists of the area and convince them to write down their creed in a big spaceship and put it also in front of the courthouse. Either both or none go there or they sue, which of course will be highly entertaining .

  19. says

    I clicked on the link to check out the Florida news item and noticed that the first headline listed under “Most Popular Stories” is “Mother Allegedly Microwaves Baby.”

    Thanks Zeno, because I noticed that too but didn’t think I could type that headline. Yuck.

    Nice to know that God has his priorities straight, making rocks miraculously appear while closing his eyes to murder by microwave.

    Ah, religion. Written by the winners.

    Does this mean I can now go around and nail big, bold copies of the First Amendment to church doors?

    Yes, Dan! Want a partner?

  20. says

    Sure Kristine. We can make a date out of it. You bring the hammer, and I’ll bring the nails. And, for those really wonky evangelicals, we can nail the Treaty of Tripoli to the doors too.

  21. Steviepinhead says

    Actually, one can argue that–since this hunk of rock just appeared, without authorization or invitation–that IT constitutes vandalism.

    Of the public stairs.

    I wonder if it’s designed so as to be accessible by the disabled?

  22. Troublesome Frog says

    Do you think anybody would be annoyed if somebody were to donate a golden calf for display next to it?

  23. idlemind says

    Ian H Spedding,

    Since not everyone has a monument at hand for reference, they might not realize that the 2nd commandment is the one that proscribes the creation and worship of idols (“graven images” in some translations).

    If you want to get the goats of the fundie supporters of such monuments, refer to them as “stone idols.”

  24. says

    From the linked AP report: “A year ago the nation’s top court ruled that a similar monument could legally remain on the grounds of the Texas Capitol in Austin.”

    This is not true. In fact SCOTUS ruled that a 10C monument in Kentucky had to be removed at the same time that it ruled that the one at the Texas Capitol could stay. The deciding factor between them? The Kentucky one was new, while the Texas one was many decades old. Guess which one of those monuments this new one is most similar to.

  25. David says

    I think the best option would be to start a campaign to have the wording changed to match one of the other versions of the christian bible. If the text is taken from the King James version, claim that it’s heresy and that $insert_other_version is the correct one. Start a petition or something. Then complain that the government is endorsing one version over the other.

  26. tom says

    There is not just one set of Ten Commandments! Everyone cites the commandments in Exodus Chapter 20, but the second set given to Moses in Chapter 34 as replacement for first set he destroyed in rage is equally valid (but waaay more whacked). I demand equal time for the second set. Erect a monument with them. Teach the controversy!


  27. Crudely Wrott says

    It’s news like this that make me wish I had found a god when I was young and questing, questioning, for same. Had I been properly enlightened I would by now have these “graven” (religious, quasi-intelligent and oh, so tight with the One and most assuredly edified and fossilized) symbols in every every courthouse, every sports venue, every presidential speech and every sporting event across the country. If I had found the universal “it” then my will would be done everywhe . . . what? It’s already been done?

    Never mind.

  28. Richard Wade says

    “I like the term godidiots but would shorten it two gidiots.”
    How dare you want to take God out of God idiots, or godidiots! This is another attack on religion by the godless left! If you take God out, God will take you out! Woe unto you who blaspheme the idiots of God!
    I agree that godidiots is hard to say, but gidiots sounds like giddy idiots. If we shorten it to godiots it gets the point across better.

  29. AlanW says

    Can’t make out the text on the pic of the graven stone idol, but I’ll be willing to bet it’s the ten of nineteen in chapter 20 (‘thou shalt not $proscribedVariable’)
    Of course, for it to be the ten commandments, it should read:
    Observe thou that which I command thee this day:

    1. behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:

    2. For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.

    3. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.

    4. The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.

    5. All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.

    6. Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.

    7. And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end. Thrice in the year shall all your menchildren appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel. For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.

    8. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.

    9. The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God.

    10. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.

    And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.

    And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

    Now those are relevant to today’s world. Gotta watch out for those Jebusites.
    Isn’t it funny that the last people to actually read the book they proclaim to be the word of $creator, are the $creator+ians themselves.

  30. says

    We can make a date out of it.

    Wait, everyone! Just hold it there, all you wandering children of Pharyngula! I just got it. D’oh!

    This is obviously an invitation to a party–the Golden Calf bash! Okay, so we don’t worship golden calves either. Who cares. It’s still an excuse to eat, drink, and be merry.

    So the first party ended badly. The Israelites didn’t know how to party. We do. Meet you there.

  31. llewwelly says

    So the first party ended badly.

    From what I remember, all the fun made some some stuffy old patriarch so mad he broke his tablets of tyranny. I call that a good party.

  32. says

    From what I remember, all the fun made some some stuffy old patriarch so mad he broke his tablets of tyranny.

    Yeah, but then they had to adopt-a-desert. And the tablets were copied. (Can you imagine Uncommon Descent in those days, having to chisel away all the unflattering comments/posts?)

  33. llewelly says

    Does this mean I can now go around and nail big, bold copies of the First Amendment to church doors?

    Kristine & Dan, you should start with the doors of the state legislatures first.

  34. says

    Maybe it’s just me, but I think all of our courthouses and public buildings in America should have tiny rocks out front inscribed with the word “Unless” a la The Lorax. Of course I guess that could be seen as me pushing my Seussian agenda on others.

  35. Dustin says

    You’d think that people would be more interested in a story about a brawl caused by someone who didn’t wash after wee-wee.

    I think things have gotten to the point where the only hope is to enforce common decency with thuggish street violence. We could start the Manners Mafia, or something. Talk during class, and they’ll be digging you out of a construction site 20 years later.

    [Note]To the good people in the employment of Alberto Gonzales: the above is what we with functioning right ventromedial prefrontal cortices call “humor”. Please do not put me on a no-fly list.[/Note]

  36. jc. says

    The true miracle would be if these ten commandement fools would at last grasp the simple meanings of seperation of church and state, religious freedom and simple courteous respect for their neighbours.
    To much to expect from people who find their distorted version of the 10 commandments to be words of wisdom delivered by a man who couldn´t even find his way from Egypt to Israel during 40 years of trying.

  37. G. Tingey says

    How about a big pentagram-in-a-circle?
    AND a Bhudda?
    AND a large Arabic copy of “Allahu Akbar”?
    AND a scientologists’ spaceship ?
    AND Manitou the great?
    AND Odin?
    AND Zeus?
    AND …..

    Once youve filled up the courthouse and the street with all these – then what?

    Your constitution DOES garuantee “freedom of religion” doesn’t it?

  38. says

    G Tingey, that’s exactly the type of thing I’d like to see. The only way to show how offensive this is is to do the exact same thing all-inclusively. I don’t think you’d be able to fit all the yoga sutras onto a single tablet, though.

  39. bones says

    And let’s not forget the Church of the Jedi and the Flying Spaghetti Monster monuments. Can we put the Pentagram right next to the Burning Cross?

  40. E-gal says

    As you know, seven of the ten commandments are unconstitutional and/ or unenforceable. The first two fly in the face of the first ammendment because I will worship any goddamned god I want, and I will make any goddamned graven or molten image that I goddamn well please and I am guaranteed that in writing.
    For the 3rd- I will say goddmanit anytime I want and there is nothing anyone can do to stop me- free speech
    4th- fuck your holy day- unenforceable/ unconst.
    5th- I was adopted out of a crack house in Philly- my parents are dickwads.
    6th- Duh! Moses merely plagurized Hamurabbi’s code- He was an underachiever-
    7th- Until the goment has cameras in our bedrooms, this is unenforceable and probably unconstitutional.
    8th- Again, Hamurabbi’s Code predates this by several hundred years. Don’t steal stuff. OK The Judeo-Christian Bar Association shouldn’t be taking the credit for this.
    9th- Perjury is illegal. Plus, at least a dozen of the laws handed down by Hammurabi deal with perjury. The god of Moses was a paraphraser.
    10th- The definition of covet: To wish for, longingly.
    You can’t make a law on what you think now can you? Plus everybody covets. We’re capitalists for christ’s sake!

  41. popeyemoon says

    If they just view the security cam.They will have proof of who did it. Oh! I bet they were not working.

  42. Mena says

    Why do these fools always insist on putting this stuff up on public land? Isn’t there any private property nearby where someone would welcome something like this? A building where people who claim to believe in the Ten Commandments meet on a regular basis perhaps?

  43. Steve_C says

    If it’s not public sponsored and no one claims it then what would be the harm in taking a nice jack hammer or rock hammer to it.

    Just get 6 guys and go at it… by the time someone came to stop you the damage would be done.

    OR some one sculpt a 6 ton granite pile of poo and dump it right next to it.

  44. David M says

    The same site that has the linked picture (posted by George above) claims that the monument was privately funded (the block of granite alone supposedly would cost $20,000!), but was placed “free of charge.” This action was endorsed by the board of county comissioners, and the former county attorney has a standing offer to defend the county against any lawsuits brought against it.

    My guess is that someone will sue, and the county will be … advised … that they stand to lose the case (and a lot of money to cover the lawyer’s fees of the complainant) and will remove the monument. At least that would be the most rational thing to do.

    There’s already a clear precedent (Supreme Court precedent, even), with cases such as McCreary County v. ACLU. I’m sure they’ll attempt to compare their situation to Van Orden v. Perry (the Texas state capitol case). Note to Dixie County: this won’t work.

  45. Bloviator says

    Perfect. And how does their “thou shalt not kill” relate to all the executions the state so happily conducts?

    In Florida there’s a steady stream of executions, with actual guilt being only a minor consideration. They regularly kill inmates while their appeals are still pending.

  46. E-gal says

    The xtians justify executions because of the difference in the meanings of the words for “kill” and “murder,” as translated in the bible.
    If one murders another, then the state may kill the murderer. Makes perfect sense.

  47. Kyra says

    I’d have to call that something other than a miracle. Those are, by definition, good.

    Nuisance, perhaps? Not quite catastrophe, and not enough for me to call it . . . wait, if we go by commandments rather than monuments there are indeed enough for me to call it a plague.

    I’ll go with nuisance. There’s already a plague—Republicans.

  48. Kyra says

    To the people who are arguing about the best permutation of “godidiots:” I myself favor the term “Godomite” which refers to people who have God shoved up their asses and are so happy about it that they want to shove Him up your ass too.

  49. says

    Nobody mentioned the fact that they spelled it “adultry”. I say leave it as a monument to the millions of brains that have been damaged by toxic memes.