Friday, March 4, 2011

Josh Carples: Thou Shalt Not Pander

  It’s good to see that at least one member of the Alabama legislature has his priorities in order. With the education budget at three percent proration, coming cuts to the state's general fund, possible layoffs, cuts in services, and the myriad of other issues affecting the state and the economy, it’s nice to know that Sen. Gerald Dial (R – Lineville) has taken time to introduce a bill of the utmost importance – the Ten Commandments amendment.

  All sarcasm aside, Sen. Dial is hoping that the seventh time is the charm, since this is the seventh time he has introduced the bill.

  He recently told the Anniston Star, “I’d like to see the Ten Commandments posted in public buildings and school rooms, “ adding, “If it keeps one person from going berserk or killing folks then it’s worth the effort.”

  I am hard pressed to find one instance where a public display of the Ten Commandments has stopped someone from going berserk.

  Does he really think tragedies like those in Columbine and Virginia Tech would have been prevented had the schools displayed a copy of the Ten Commandments on the wall?

  History has shown that religion has not been the unifying force many good-natured adherents wish it was, and it’s far too easy to twist ancient scriptures to say whatever the speakers wants them to say. If you need an example of people using religion for bad purposes, look up the nutjobs at Westboro Baptist or public enemy number one – Osama bin Laden.

  Also if this bill, known as Senate Bill 30, passes, it will surely be challenged in court. According to the Anniston Star, the Alabama chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is already eyeing it. And on the other side of the argument is the Foundation for Moral Law, whose president has some experience with Ten Commandments issues – former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

  So this bill does nothing to create jobs, nothing to help the economy, and in all likelihood will end up in court, which means there will be court costs and legal fees that will most likely be paid by state tax dollars while revenues are down and unemployment up.

  In light of these issues, I propose that Sen. Dial and his supporters focus on legislation that builds Alabama’s economy and creates jobs. Let’s leave the proselytizing to the churches.

  About the author: Josh Carples is the managing editor of the Capital City Free Press.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

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