Alabama Voters Approve Constitutional Amendment to Display Ten Commandments

Voters in Alabama have approved an amendment that would establish in the state’s Constitution the right to display the Ten Commandments on government property, if desired.  71 percent of voters approved Amendment 1 on Tuesday, which also applies to public schools.

“Amendment 1 does two things,” a summary of the amendment outlines. “First, it provides that a person is free to worship God as he or she chooses, and that a person’s religious beliefs will have no effect on his or her civil or political rights. Second, it makes clear that the Ten Commandments may be displayed on public property so long as the display meets constitutional requirements, such as being displayed along with historical or educational items. Amendment 1 also provides that no public funds may be used to defend this amendment in court.”

The Alabama Constitution will now be amended to read the following:

“Every person shall be at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of his or her own conscience. No person shall be compelled to attend, or, against his or her consent, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of religious worship, or to pay tithes, taxes, or other rates for the support of any minister of the gospel.”

“Property belonging to the state may be used to display the Ten Commandments, and the right of a public school and public body to display the Ten Commandments on property owned or administrated by a public school or public body in this state is not restrained or abridged. The civil and political rights, privileges, and capacities of no person shall be diminished or enlarged on account of his or her religious belief.”

Amendment 1 was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.  The latter organization said, “The Ten Commandments are a religious code of behavior that some, but not all, Americans accept. The proper place for them to be displayed is in our nation’s houses of worship.”

But what does God say about such matters?  In the New Covenant, 1 John 5:2-3 reads, “By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments.  For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not grievous.”

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Brian Sussman

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