Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Cut Ten Commandments down to 6? (Appointed by 0bama)
Roanoke.com ^ | May 8, 2012 | Laurence Hammock

Posted on 05/08/2012 6:39:23 PM PDT by Kaslin

Could the Ten Commandments be reduced to six, a federal judge asked Monday.

Would that neutralize the religious overtones of a commandments display that has the Giles County School Board in legal hot water?

That unorthodox suggestion was made by Judge Michael Urbanski during oral arguments over whether the display amounts to a governmental endorsement of religion, as alleged in a lawsuit filed by a student at Narrows High School.

After raising many pointed questions about whether the commandments pass legal muster, the judge referred the case to mediation - with a suggestion:

Remove the first four commandments, which are clearly religious in nature, and leave the remaining six, which make more secular commands, such as do not kill or steal.

Ever since the lawsuit was filed in September amid heated community reaction, school officials have said the display is not religious because it also includes historical documents such as the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.

"If indeed this issue is not about God, why wouldn't it make sense for Giles County to say, 'Let's go back and just post the bottom six?'" Urbanski asked during a motions hearing in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.

"But if it's really about God, then they wouldn't be willing to do that."

After delaying a ruling on the lawsuit, Urbanski directed attorneys on both sides to meet with Magistrate Judge Robert Ballou, who will lead mediation sessions in the coming weeks.

If those discussions do not produce a settlement, Urbanski must decide whether the school board had religious intentions when it voted 3-2 last June to put the commandments back up after angry public reaction to their earlier removal.

That decision will be guided by a myriad of precedent-setting cases that have prohibited the Ten Commandments in schools and other public buildings, such as courthouses, while permitting them under certain, narrow circumstances.

There is no federal case allowing the commandments in a school, said Rebecca Glenberg of the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the student. While Urbanski agreed, he called the details of the Giles County dispute "very nuanced."

Because the commandments appear with other historical documents, and because they are mentioned in the curriculum of Giles County schools, there's reason to find the board had a secular mission when it approved the display, argued Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, a Christian-based law group that is defending the county.

While allowing for that possibility with the board's 3-2 vote last June to put up a multidocument display, Urbanski said it clearly was not the case earlier in the year, when the Ten Commandments issue erupted into controversy.

After the commandments were removed in response to a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the school board reversed course in January 2011 after more than 200 angry residents packed a meeting to complain.

At the time, no one was clamoring for more historical documents in the schools. They were furious about the removal of the Ten Commandments, the ACLU argues, and the school board appeased the masses and violated the First Amendment with the same vote.

Urbanski noted how one board member thanked the crowd for turning out to support the commandments.

"That's not an endorsement of religion?" he said. "Come on.

"It's clear to me that when the school board voted, there was only one thing on their mind. And that was God."

But does that improper endorsement of religion taint the school board's later decision, made on the advice of Liberty Counsel, to take the commandments back down and replace them with the current historical display?

That will be a question for the judge if the mediation fails.

A key issue in the case will be whether there is a secular basis for the school board's vote -- "as opposed to responding to a religious fervor," Urbanski said.

At Monday's hearing, Urbanski was asked by both sides to grant their motions for summary judgment, which assume that the facts are not in dispute and the matter is ripe for a legal analysis. The ACLU wants Urbanski to order the commandments be taken down; Liberty Counsel wants him to dismiss the lawsuit.

Not long into oral arguments, Urbanski posed his suggestion about removing the first four commandments.

Staver, who has studied countless Ten Commandments cases and argued one before the U.S. Supreme Court, said after the hearing he was not aware of such an outcome in any such case.

In court, Staver first said there was no legal reason to edit the commandments. When pressed by the judge to say whether the county might consider it, he said the question had never come up before.

"Well, it's going to come up today," Urbanski said.

What remains unclear is whether the county would be willing to make such a move - likely to produce more political turmoil - during future discussions to come from mediation.

In suggesting the compromise, Urbanski cited the potential of Giles County facing huge legal bills. Although Liberty Counsel is representing the board for free, it would have to pay the ACLU's legal costs should the student prevail. Two rural counties in Kentucky were stuck with a $450,000 tab in a similar case.

The judge said that "in today's economic climate, with school boards as taxed as they are ... financial issues are real issues."

The board may not have many options, said Wat Hopkins, a Virginia Tech communication professor who studies First Amendment law.

"It was not a good day for Giles County," said Hopkins, who sat in on Monday's court session. "He kind of left them with one door to go through."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; US: West Virginia
KEYWORDS: 2012election; election2012; kenyanbornmuzzie; mittromney; tencommandments
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-53 next last

1 posted on 05/08/2012 6:39:28 PM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Without the first four, there’s no reason to keep the other six.


2 posted on 05/08/2012 6:47:32 PM PDT by tbpiper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Yep! I’m sure G-d would be in favor of this compromise, after all he is known for compromising on HIS laws ...

Judicial decrees are becoming sillier by the day.


3 posted on 05/08/2012 6:50:38 PM PDT by doc1019 (Romney will never get my vote!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tbpiper
The ten commandments are God's laws. Man has noright to change them
4 posted on 05/08/2012 6:53:46 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Why not just teach the last 15 letters of the alphabet?


5 posted on 05/08/2012 6:53:55 PM PDT by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: doc1019

Urbanski is an Obama appointee, so he was appointed by god, don’t you know? Obama does.


6 posted on 05/08/2012 6:54:58 PM PDT by izzatzo (Just beat Obama.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: izzatzo

ROFLMAO!! Good one.


7 posted on 05/08/2012 6:59:22 PM PDT by doc1019 (Romney will never get my vote!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

10 Commandments - The Greatest Hits Edition? Or a 'Split' Decision...


8 posted on 05/08/2012 7:02:16 PM PDT by JediJones (From the makers of Romney, Bloomberg/Schwarzenegger 2016. Because the GOP can never go too far left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
The 10 commandments are historical. To remove 4 of the comandments would be to take them out of historical context.

That's the secular argument for leaving them in and whole, in my humble opinion.

/johnny

9 posted on 05/08/2012 7:03:22 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
“The ten commandments are God's laws. Man has no right to change them” Right. This is not a matter for any earthly judge, especially a federal one, to be involved in. I bet God is having a conniption in heaven right now
10 posted on 05/08/2012 7:03:54 PM PDT by tob2 (November can't come soon enough for me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

“Christian” churches all over the country pick and choose which commandments they want to preach. Sad.


11 posted on 05/08/2012 7:04:57 PM PDT by Terry Mross ("It happened. And we let it happen." Peter Griffin - FAMILY GUY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
The ACLU would really crap if the school board had posted a translation of the Code of Hammurabi.

It's got some really harsh stuff in it.

/johnny

12 posted on 05/08/2012 7:11:20 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Without the Lawgiver, there are no laws.

We are a nation under God, therefore, saying “God” or “Lord” does not establish or endorse any particular religion, but it is all about Absolute Truth—One standard of Right and Wrong. It is God’s (of the Bible) standards and government has no power to censor religious speech-—particularly the Founding Principles embedded into our Judicial system. They need to uphold the belief in God—for that is where our Natural Rights come from as stated in our Founding Documents.

Atheist should not be allowed to become judges or sit on juries or be in the legislature or be President...they didn’t used to allow it when we were a Constitutional Republic. The ideology of Atheists/Communists/Satanists are incompatible with our Judicial system of Objective Truth. You are basically required to take an oath to God since He is the most important part of the Constitution, which demands a belief in God. Without God—there can be no Natural Rights from the Creator.


13 posted on 05/08/2012 7:20:37 PM PDT by savagesusie (Right Reason According to Nature = Just Law)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Geez, we've already cut them down from 15.

14 posted on 05/08/2012 7:27:52 PM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I would like the judge to explain which religion are the Commandments a part of? Seems to me, there are a few.


15 posted on 05/08/2012 7:28:31 PM PDT by PghBaldy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

If they use the Catholic and Lutheran counting of the commandments (which is said to go back to St. Augustine) they keep 7 and skip the first 3.


16 posted on 05/08/2012 7:28:48 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

One of these days the secular world will get a final separation from God and dwell with the “god” of this world for all eternity if they don’t wake up.

They fight for it all the time.

Of course, if they actually understood the Message of the Cross, they would understand the 10 Commandments and Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%201:18-19&version=KJV

1 Corinthians 1:18-19

King James Version (KJV)

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.


17 posted on 05/08/2012 7:29:50 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus

Huh?


18 posted on 05/08/2012 7:35:39 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

How totally absurd is this???? cutting out some of the Commandments would take out the RELIGIOUS OVERTONES of the 10 Commandments?????? I think I’ve heard it all now!


19 posted on 05/08/2012 7:39:32 PM PDT by FrdmLvr (culture, language, borders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
So we're going to censor the Commandments? Forget about a commandment prohibiting that, isn't there an Amendment that talks about this?

Of what value would displaying the "6 Federally Approved Commandments" be?

20 posted on 05/08/2012 7:50:20 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (I didn't know she was a liberal when I married her.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Suuurrreeee, and while we’re at it, teach the kids that the Moon is made of green cheese, the Easter Bunny was in Hawaii for vacation, and...what else nonsense they can come up with.

God GOD! Has everyone been taking crazy pills?


21 posted on 05/08/2012 7:52:35 PM PDT by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Kaslin
The state should recognize the 10 commandments as a historical reference, not a religious one.

In much the same way, symbols have been bastardized by liberal interest groups, the state/fed just moves in an emotional wind. Instead, the state should neither recognize, endorse, favor or forbid any free exercise of religious expression that does not infringe on the rights of others to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

NOTE: ...that does not infringe on the rights of others.

I personally do not endorse the interpretation of Jefferson's original letter suggesting there is a clear separation of church and state. The constitution itself is more clear in that congress shall pass no laws abridging the right.... Neither the Constitution nor Thomas Jefferson ever suggested the banning of religious symbols to protect one group of citizenry's belief over another’s.

This post is entirely from a historical point of view and does not represent its author's religious opinion of the 10 Commandments.

23 posted on 05/08/2012 8:21:16 PM PDT by Tenacious 1 (With regards to the GOP: I am prodisestablishmentarianistic!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus

You are obviously not a Lutheran. Either that or you don’t have a clue.


24 posted on 05/08/2012 8:36:21 PM PDT by mfreddy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Just throw out the 10 Commandments and start using the Georgia Guidestones openly. After all, the demons in the country are brazenly and actively supporting depopulation, among other key elements of those Satanic stones.


25 posted on 05/08/2012 8:51:52 PM PDT by Borax Queen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
The Catholic version has 3 which refer to obligations to God and 7 which refer to relations with other people. The prohibition of graven images is included in the first commandment. The commandment against coveting is divided into two: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife" and "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods."

I have read that Martin Luther kept the Catholic counting of the Ten Commandments. I'm not a Lutheran and I don't know if modern-day Lutherans follow his practice or agree with other Protestants.

26 posted on 05/08/2012 8:58:48 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

The WRATH of God, cometh soon.


27 posted on 05/08/2012 9:03:02 PM PDT by ourworldawry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus

Understoood. We follow all the commandments, no breakdown, or interpretation. Luther’s catechism makes no distinctions.

Maybe that is our break with the Catholic Church. Maybe it is also our break with the Wisconsin synod, I am Missouri synod.

The Church has many divisions, and ultimately dilutions. Kinda like our modern society, justifying actions with diluted morality.


28 posted on 05/08/2012 9:04:27 PM PDT by mfreddy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus

Understoood. We follow all the commandments, no breakdown, or interpretation. Luther’s catechism makes no distinctions.

Maybe that is our break with the Catholic Church. Maybe it is also our break with the Wisconsin synod, I am Missouri synod.

The Church has many divisions, and ultimately dilutions. Kinda like our modern society, justifying actions with diluted morality.


29 posted on 05/08/2012 9:09:06 PM PDT by mfreddy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: ConservaTexan
Why not just teach the last 15 letters of the alphabet?

Judging from the quality of education in many parts of this country, I believe they are already doing this.

30 posted on 05/08/2012 9:26:23 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud dad of an Army Soldier who has survived 24 months of Combat deployment.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Jesus cut the commandments down to two. (Matt. 22:37-40) Wonder if the judge would go with that solution?


31 posted on 05/08/2012 9:30:31 PM PDT by daisy mae for the usa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SoldierDad

>>Why not just teach the last 15 letters of the alphabet?
>
>Judging from the quality of education in many parts of this country, I believe they are already doing this.

Dud txt so rks.

(Sorry, that should be read with dripping sarcasm.... sprinkled liberally with Schadenfreude.)


32 posted on 05/08/2012 9:49:59 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: daisy mae for the usa

>Jesus cut the commandments down to two. (Matt. 22:37-40) Wonder if the judge would go with that solution?

Probably say something like this:
Who the hell is this ‘Jesus’ guy to think that he has any authority in the law? Why I bet he doesn’t have any precedent to back what he says up!

Well, that might just be my sarcasm kicking in.


33 posted on 05/08/2012 9:52:26 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper
The 10 commandments are historical.

The entire Bible is historical, a better argument is the Feds have no business in local schools at all.

34 posted on 05/08/2012 10:59:46 PM PDT by itsahoot (I will not vote for Romney period. You can't trust the man with the big red (R))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I guess the commandments have joined the U.S Constitution on the liberal list of “living documents.”


35 posted on 05/08/2012 11:12:30 PM PDT by clearcarbon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tbpiper

Liberals are smarter than God.


36 posted on 05/08/2012 11:16:26 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
(Art.) "If indeed this issue is not about God, why wouldn't it make sense for Giles County to say, 'Let's go back and just post the bottom six?'" Urbanski asked during a motions hearing in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.

"But if it's really about God, then they wouldn't be willing to do that."


O wise judge! O Solomonic arbi- .... oh, wait, we can't say that either, can we?

Well, anyway, spoken like a true Roman judge! "Quis est veritas?"

"'What is the truth?' said jesting Pilate,
And would not stay for an answer." -- Browning

And then there was this guy, from the Acts:

"Et nihil erat curae Gallioni." (Jews complaining about Christians and demanding the right to try them and stone them under Jewish ecclesiastical law.)

"And it was of no concern to Gallio."

37 posted on 05/09/2012 1:30:45 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

This judge is making thinly veiled threats to Giles County.

He also ought to know that in parallel cases what was done was to add other historical fundamental law documents to the Commandments display. This proposal is new and a bunch of hooey.


38 posted on 05/09/2012 2:05:31 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Mitt! You're going to have to try harder than that to be "severely conservative" my friend.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lentulusgracchus

Isn’t militant atheism also about God (in their case, chasing references to God out)?


39 posted on 05/09/2012 2:07:34 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Mitt! You're going to have to try harder than that to be "severely conservative" my friend.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

The judge is a fool.

(”The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God.” Psalm 14:1)


40 posted on 05/09/2012 3:46:40 AM PDT by savedbygrace (But God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Bet the federal judge wouldn’t go after the ko ran.


41 posted on 05/09/2012 5:12:49 AM PDT by Texas resident (Hunkered Down)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

And what accord Christ with Belial?Or what part the believer with the unbeliever?....2 Corinthians6:14-15 Now the unbeliever and mere politician —and the “progressive” Judges
-basically the other side of a House/nation divided against itself really wishes we could all “compromise”and that resolve every argument but they are WRONG!


42 posted on 05/09/2012 5:33:05 AM PDT by StonyBurk (ring)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I miss Bill Clinton. As much as he disgusted me, both personally and professionally, he didn’t hate America (which distinguishes him from Obama), and he would have been happy to keep 9 Commandments on the list, if we would have deleted the 6th Commandment (Thou shalt not commit adultery).


43 posted on 05/09/2012 6:03:54 AM PDT by Pollster1 (Can we afford as much government as welfare-addicted voters demand?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: SoldierDad

If Hawaiian can get by with 12 letters (plus the glottal stop which some people don’t bother with in writing), why should we insist on 26 for English? Seems like another case of western Euro-American cultural imperialism.


45 posted on 05/09/2012 6:49:23 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus
Seems like another case of western Euro-American cultural imperialism.

I don't have a problem with it.

46 posted on 05/09/2012 8:13:56 AM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud dad of an Army Soldier who has survived 24 months of Combat deployment.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: torchy

ok, very wry.


47 posted on 05/09/2012 1:28:07 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Mitt! You're going to have to try harder than that to be "severely conservative" my friend.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Shadowstrike
and...what else nonsense they can come up with.

Obama is a Christian.

48 posted on 05/09/2012 1:29:33 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: UCANSEE2

thanks, I needed that laugh.


49 posted on 05/09/2012 7:27:33 PM PDT by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Throw out a few Commandments, throw out a few of the first 10 Amendments, just cutting back...


50 posted on 05/09/2012 9:36:52 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-53 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson