By Jeff Wehr
The Tennessee House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor of HR 107, a resolution which urges the counties of Tennessee to post the Ten Commandments in their respective courthouses.
Part of the resolution reads, “WHEREAS, the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the historical importance of these sacred texts and even upheld Sunday closing laws, which originated in the fourth commandments exhortation to remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.”
Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, said, “The Ten Commandments are part of the fabric of our country and helped shape our laws. They are as much at home in a display about the foundations of law as stars and stripes are in the American flag. The founding fathers would be outraged that we are even debating the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments.” WND, June 4, 2011.
The terms “God,” “Christianity,” “Ten Commandments,” and the “Bible” are not mentioned in the Constitution of the United States. “Religion” is mentioned only twice. The first occurrence is in our First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The second occurrence is found in Article VI, Clause 3, “. . . no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
There were some who opposed “the religious test” clause because they did not want to see a Roman Catholic, Jew, Muslim, or some heathen hold public office. States such as North Carolina opposed the prohibition. But the majority believed that the people of these United States should have the right to employ any capable and good citizen to execute the various offices of the government.
This battle over posting the Ten Commandments in a state court building became a national issue nearly a decade ago when an Alabama judge, Roy Moore, faced pressure from the ACLU and other groups to remove a monument featuring the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Supreme Court building.
It is evident that behind these initiatives there is an attempt to lay a foundation for the government to legislate religious faith.