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Arkansas joins 22 other states to back hearing over Commandments

By DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

This article was originally published August 12, 2017 at 3:01 a.m. Updated August 12, 2017 at 3:01 a.m.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is shown in this 2016 file photo.

Photos by Emma Pettit
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Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (center) is shown with his wife Angela Paxton, in Houston, Thursday, July 27, 2017.

A coalition of nearly two dozen states, led by the Texas attorney general, is stepping into a dispute in New Mexico over a Ten Commandments monument, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to settle more definitively the question of whether such monuments or displays are constitutional.

Photos by Emma Pettit
Click here for larger versions

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (center) is shown with his wife Angela Paxton, in Houston, Thursday, July 27, 2017.

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Print Headline: 23 states back hearing over Commandments

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TimberTopper says... August 12, 2017 at 4:55 a.m.

Seems that the rulings regarding Ok and AL would have settled that question. But, it's only time and money, being paid by the taxpayers, right.

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WGT says... August 12, 2017 at 6:43 a.m.

There is no reason for religious temperament in public. The United States is a secular government with a god less constitution. Your religious choices are private; belonging only in your home or your church.

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23cal says... August 12, 2017 at 6:59 a.m.

That so many are so determined to tear down the wall of separation illustrates why it must be fought for all the harder.
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A couple of quotes from President James Madison, the Father of the Constitution:
"We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Gov."
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"It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Gov't from interfence in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespasses on its legal rights by others."

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RBear says... August 12, 2017 at 8:18 a.m.

This is becoming yet another attempt by Republicans to turn our government into a theocracy. The claim is that our Constitution is based on the Ten Commandments, when it is hard to even really find that correlation. It's a weak argument to support their position, as often is the case by right wingers.
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Looking over this subject, there are other historic documents that truly influenced the founders in their formation of the framework such as the Magna Carta or the Code of Hammurabi. Yet there is no drive to honor these documents other than our federal government with the display of one of the surviving copies of the Magna Carta under the rotunda of the National Archives.
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I like the views expressed by a writer for the Heritage Foundation (yes, that conservative institution) on the issue. "Does anyone really believe that keeping the Ten Commandments in public view will spark spiritual renewal or reverse cultural rot?"
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Even our own state's fixation with this fantasy, led by the Bigot from Bigelow, is laughable at best. We are spending far too much time and money on this idiotic push at infusion of religion in government. How about focusing on the principles Christ espoused of loving your neighbor as yourself and quit trying to push for a Christian empire.

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BOLTAR says... August 12, 2017 at 8:20 a.m.

Please remind me which of the ten commandments specifically says, "Thou shalt not rape." Otherwise, how can people know not to do it?

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23cal says... August 12, 2017 at 8:53 a.m.

Spot on, RBear.
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During Americans United’s epic battle with Alabama’s “Ten Commandments Judge” Roy Moore, this issue was settled. A group of 41 historians wrote a brief debunking the idea that U.S. law is based on the Ten Commandments.
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The brief noted that “various documents and texts” figured in the development of American law, among them English common and statutory law, Roman law, the civil law of continental Europe and private international law. They also found numerous references to the writings of William Blackstone, John Locke, Adam Smith and others as well as the Magna Carta, the Federalist Papers and other sources.
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Observed the scholars, “No respected scholar of legal or constitutional history would assert that the Ten Commandments have played a dominant or major role, or even a significant role, in the development of American law as a whole. To insist on a closer relationship or to claim the Ten Command­ments has a special place in the development of American law lacks historical support.”
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“Each of these documents had a far greater influence on America’s laws than the Ten Commandments,” asserted the brief. “Indeed, the legal and historical record does not include significant and meaningful references to the Ten Commandments, the Pentateuch or to biblical law generally…as can best be determined, no delegate ever mentioned the Ten Commandments or the Bible.”
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Concluded the brief, “While the Ten Commandments have influenced some of our notions of right and wrong, a wide variety of other documents have played a more dominant and central role in the development of American law. No respected scholar of legal or constitutional history would assert that the Ten Commandments have played a dominant or major role, or even a significant role, in the development of American law as a whole. To insist on a closer relationship or to claim the Ten Command­ments has a special place in the development of American law lacks historical support.”
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It would be difficult for the Ten Commandments to be the foundation for any government since the document says nothing about legislative bodies, courts, rulers or how a state is to be ordered and function.
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The Decalogue is chiefly a list of rules designed to regulate religious and moral behavior. Several of the Ten Commandments deal with purely theological issues, such as how God is to be worshiped, whether it’s appropriate to make idols, the need to honor the Sabbath, etc. These matters have no reflection in the U.S. Constitution, which is a wholly secular document that contains no references to God, Jesus Christ or Christianity.

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HOTDEMN says... August 12, 2017 at 10:41 a.m.

Maybe the Romans were on to something with that whole Christians vs Lions thing ??

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Popsmith says... August 12, 2017 at 1:54 p.m.

If you're not going to trust in God, who or what are you going to trust? The dollar?

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mrcharles says... August 12, 2017 at 3:39 p.m.

Which g-d pop? OT or NT ? Catholic or protestant or Muslim?

A deity who just happens to have human tendencies. And those first few of this particular list, pray tell me where it fits in our law except in the Republican ideas of their desire for a theocracy & aristocracy.

It is at the core the desire of the Deity system types to force their ideas on America & show everyone who has the power . The few concepts worthy are secondary issues. The theocrats want to make clear they are in control of our thought processes.they have no integrity to just say it is religious and by dang our religion going to be the only religion. Bet you not 1% of the supporters want this idol for only historical reasons.

This just shows how dishonest these types are & that hypocracy is how they conduct themselves.

How about a monument with injunctions on slavery since that would be historical in USA due to our slave laws making them property here in Arkansas.

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RBear says... August 12, 2017 at 3:40 p.m.

Popsmith, this has NOTHING to do with one's faith journey. It has EVERYTHING to do with the true principles our republic was founded upon and that was about freedom of and from religion.

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