On Monday of this week, according to Matthew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Council, Judge Michael Urbanski, a U.S. District judge in the Western Virginia district, offered a compromise in an ACLU vs. Giles County Board of Education lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the school board for allowing a privately funded display of the ten commandment to be a part of a 12-document display highlighting the documents that play key roles in United States history. Included in the display, but not targeted in the lawsuit, being heard by Judge Urbanski, are the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, The Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.
Of course, secular textbooks and historians who admit the glaring truth that the Ten Commandments, as listed in Exodus 20, played a huge role in the development of western culture and in United States history, are abundant. In fact their principles and even their author, God, are mentioned in several of the other documents included on this wall in this high school. Therefore, I think the battle that the ACLU is waging, here and in other places against the Ten Commandments, is less about content and more about authorship. It just incenses this organization for our culture to give credence to the Good Book as having emanated from the mind of God. Giving that credence, you see, infers that He exists and that we have His Word. And–oh dear–if we go down that path, then there are all sorts of obstacles to get over to legitimize immoral behavior. Absolute truth is a big stickler for adherence and this Absolute Truth inconveniently gets in the way of homosexuality, abortion, pornography, infanticide, euthanasia, etc….So the ACLU finds itself situated uncomfortably between the truth that this document is foundational to the culture we enjoy and their expressed need to rid our public buildings of references to it’s author.
So Judge Urbanski has ordered the case to mediation, suggesting a compromise. Judge Urbanski has asked the ACLU if the ten commandments can remain on the school’s wall if they become the six commandments instead of the ten? What if the first four–the ones that mention God–are excluded? Did you get that? Let’s just clip the document in half to get rid of any mention of authorship!
Seeing how this case is resolved will be interesting. Judge Urbanski got an initial response from the ACLU. They said this edit might resolve the dispute, but still, the other six installments should not be worded, so as to infer that they are commandments. In other words, no “Thou shalt not” should be posted. Again, it’s this obstacle of absolute truth.
I’m wondering about precedence if we start chopping God out of the Ten Commandments. (It’s difficult for me to even type those absurd words.) Are we going to chop Him out of the Declaration of Independence? Will we amend the Magna Carta and the Mayflower Compact? Will we really mess with history to get around absolute truth? The problem is, the truth we chop away will still be truth. If we cut around the name of God with our measly scissors till kingdom come, the eternal kingdom will still come! If we take down plaques and edit Him out from now till the trumpet blows, it will still blow one day. Even if we take our chisels and remove His name from every marble statue in DC and from every cornerstone of every government building, His name is still the one at which every knee will one day bow. Even the knees of the officers of the ACLU… all knees under all tables on both sides of that courtroom… are getting ready to bow. Even the knees under the robe under the bench at the head of that and all courtrooms will bow.
Absolute truth is not decided in a courtroom. It’s not edited with scissors and chisels.
You can hear an audio about this case at www.libertyaction.org/7082/offer.asp.