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It seems like the clocks in the state of Oklahoma are set back 5 years to when the country felt like it had time to fight the "culture wars"

That's right! Time for some state capitol Ten Commandments, son!

Can someone give me a " אנכי יהוה אלהיך, אשר הוצאתיך מארץ מצרים מבית עבדים

Oh, wait. They're not doing the original, correct version?

Mike Ritze, the bill's author, says no:

"The Ten Commandments were authored by the Jewish God that we as Christians accept, but that's not the reason for the display


Classic Stephen Colbert "Better Know a District Footage" of Lynn Westmoreland unable to recite the Ten Commandments

Sure, it's written by the "Jewish God" that we Christians (all of Oklahoma being apparently being Christian).

Except some of the Native Americans in the once-"Indian Territory" who still hold to their ancestors beliefs.

And one of those followers of the "Jewish God" in the state Senate.

Sen. Tom Adelson, D-Tulsa, who is Jewish, said the commandments are held in high regard in the Jewish faith and should be considered a holy symbol.
"It is hard for me as a Jewish person to hear that we are turning it (the Ten Commandments) into a secular symbol," Adelson said. "It’s clearly religious, and I would not have it referred to in any other way."

Of course, though they are The Ten Commandments, the damned legislature is leaving out the other 603.

Yes, that's right. The Oklahoma legislature is a Lazy-ass legislature.

Mind you, it's not the followers of the "Jewish God" who think so.

The "Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty," which apparently represents most of the non-"Southern Baptist Convention"-style Baptists, has also come out against the law, and apparently, there are a decent number of them in Oklahoma.

From their press release

The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty says that while some Ten Commandments displays may be held constitutional, all Americans should be concerned when government meddles in matters of religion.

"We should be more concerned with following the Ten Commandments rather than merely posting them on government property," Hollman said. "Religion flourishes best when the separation of church and state is protected."

The Baptist Joint Committee is a 73-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based religious liberty organization that works to defend and extend God-given religious liberty for all, bringing a uniquely Baptist witness to the principle that religion must be freely exercised, neither advanced nor inhibited by government.

On another note, one assumes this Ten Commandments display is going to court.

And unfortunately, the court is probably going to rule differently. While O'Connor opposed both the held to be constitutional Texas one (where Breyer was the swing vote and concurred based on the 40 years it had been around and a list of characteristics which he felt made it sufficiently secular); Breyer however voted to strike down the Kentucky Ten Commandments

The court decisions in this area have been based on what is known as the Lemon test:

It is so called because one of the "parties" in the case was named Lemon; it is unlikely that this is where the term "lemon party" came from, but we can't be sure.

The Court's decision in this case established the "Lemon test", which details the requirements for legislation concerning religion. It consists of three prongs:

  1. The government's action must have a secular legislative purpose;
  2. The government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
  3. The government's action must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion.

If any of these 3 prongs are violated, the government's action is deemed unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

So, we'll see what happens, as whatever Governor Henry does, it appears that there are sufficient votes to override a veto.

Speaking of the Ten Commandments, Friday I'm starting a 10-week stay in the great state of Alabama. Hopefully I don't run into Roy Moore, or he'd crush me with that ten-ton Ten Commandments of his for having written this diary.

Originally posted to DemocraticLuntz on Wed May 13, 2009 at 05:58 PM PDT.

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