Dispatches from the Creation Wars

A school in Virginia is likely to face a court fight after refusing to remove a posting of the Ten Commandments:

The Ten Commandments will hang in public schools, the Giles County School Board unanimously decided Thursday afternoon despite its attorney’s recommendation and precedent from the U.S. Supreme Court.

In December, a group that advocates separation between church and state asked Giles Superintendent Terry Arbogast to remove prints of the Ten Commandments because, the group stated, such a display in public schools violates the Constitution. The county attorney agreed, so the district did.

And they’re offering the usual bad arguments for their position:

More than 200 county residents packed the school board meeting room and adjacent hallway Thursday afternoon, and a half-dozen parents and pastors told the board to honor God and continue to teach children that the United States is “one nation, under God” with the commandments.

“You have a moral obligation to what is right,” Elwood Lambert of Narrows said to the board. “Do not let our future children be deprived of this right–a God-given right.”

No, you have a legal obligation to the First Amendment. And how are children being deprived of any right by not posting the ten commandments? Any children from Jewish or Christian families will be taught about them at home or in church. Any children from any other family have a right not to be proselytized about another religion in the government-run schools they are forced to attend.

“Honoring God” is up to each individual to do or not do in whatever manner they choose to do it or not do it. It is not up to the government.

The school had replaced the framed Ten Commandments posters with copies of the Declaration of Independence, a much better and more appropriate thing to have on the walls of a school. Now they’re changing them back. Until they get sued and lose.

And here’s the irony of the whole thing. How many of those 200 people at the school board meeting who think the Ten Commandments are so important actually follow all of them? I bet not a single one of them does.