Alabamians Will Soon Vote on Putting the Ten Commandments on Public Property

By Andrew Seidel

The god of the Bible is on the Nov. 6 ballot in Alabama. A proposed constitutional amendment would allow the government to display his so-called divine law — the Ten Commandments — on every piece of public property in the state.

Amendment 1 unnecessarily rewrites the religious liberty provisions of the Alabama Constitution in alarming ways. There’s actually some good language in the amendment — for instance, prohibiting taxes from going to churches — but that’s already protected under the law so there’s no need for a change.

This amendment is not meant to protect religious liberty or ensure that the state doesn’t meddle in the administration of churches. It is meant to decorate every piece of government property, especially in public schools, with a biblical law that begins, “I am the Lord your God… You shall have no other gods before me.”

That divine command, while central to Judeo-Christianity, is, to be blunt, un-American. The First Commandment embodies principles that directly conflict with the principles on which the United States was founded. No law can tell an American to worship a god, let alone which god. Americans are free to be godless (and a growing number are), or, if they wish, to worship every god from every holy book.

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