By Hemant Mehta
Alabama is one step closer to amending its constitution to allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in all government buildings, including public schools.
Senate Bill 181 just passed in the House on Thursday. It had already passed in the Senate. And it doesn’t need the governor’s signature. It’ll go straight on the November ballot, where voters who nearly sent alleged child molester Roy Moore to Congress will decide if the Commandments can be plastered all over the place. (I guess they’ll ignore the line about adultery.)
The bill doesn’t necessarily violate the law because it calls for the Decalogue to be part of a larger display of historical materials. It also calls for private funds to pay for these monuments. But there’s a good chance some of those displays will downplay everything except the Commandments and the lawsuits will inevitably follow. Keep in mind that the bill singles out the Ten Commandments for display, which could be taken as an endorsement of Christianity.
That’s why it’s interesting that the bill specifically says taxpayer funds can’t be used to defend the Ten Commandments monuments in case there’s a lawsuit. They don’t specify who would pay in those situations… which seems like a rather important question left unanswered.
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