Alabama Idiot Thinks Constitution Based On Ten Commandments, Is Incorrect
Hey, there's also some Non-Ferguson news today! For instance, in Scottsboro, Alabama, Jackson County Commissioner Tim Guffey (R-like you need to ask), wants to include the Ten Commandments in a monument that already features the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, because, he says, the Ten Commandments are a historical document that, like the other two, are among our nation's founding documents and also too arenot the least bit religious, no siree.
“I’m trying to … erect a monument of historical documents. It’s the Constitution, the Ten Commandments and the Declaration of Independence. I feel like that’s what this country was founded on. These documents helped America become the greatest country in history.”
He said that the Ten Commandments were only included because of their historical value, arguing that their influence on the other documents is a matter of historical, not religious, import. “I just can’t see how you could explain a Constitution – why it was written the way it was written — without understanding why those men wrote it the way they wrote it,” he said. “I feel like taking that document out, if that document wasn’t there to guide them, then our Constitution wouldn’t be what it is today.”
And we totally see his point, because of course the Constitution of full of stuff about honoring the Lord's day (Article Sunday, Section Go to Church), not having false gods (the Eleventeenth Amendment), and not coveting your neighbor's goods or wife, though coveting your neighbor himself is still working its way through the courts.
We also think his explanation of "not religious" is a thing of self-contradictory beauty:
“The Ten Commandments is a historical document and it has nothing to do with religion,” he continued. “It shows that these founders had great beliefs in God and the Ten Commandments and His Word and it helped them get to the point where they were. Their feeling was God helped them build the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. If you read all of the writings of John Adams, Patrick Henry, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, they speak about how that was their foundation that helped them interpret and write a great Constitution.”
We certainly remember from our college history classes reading about the debates in Philadelphia, when the delegates to the Constitutional Convention would look first at the draft text of the document, and then at the Ten Commandments, and how they made sure the two were in synch. Or maybe it was stuff from Greece and Rome that they liked; like Guffey, we slept a lot in that class. And how the delegates completely ignored Benjamin Franklin's proposal to hire a chaplain whose prayers would guide them to wise decisions.
And heaven knows Guffey isn't motivated by religion -- we're guessing he's one of those Christians who think that "religion" only applies to the doctrines of a specific denomination, while "Christianity" and "God" are just true things, not "religious" stuff, which would only apply to specific bits of Catholic or Baptist doctrine. Also, he's simply trying to correct for the sad miseducation of our children, who are deprived of studying the Ten Commandments in school, thanks to that Constitution thingy he thinks is so nifty:
"I just can't see how you could explain a Constitution -- why it was written the way it was written -- without understanding why those men wrote it the way they wrote it," Guffey said. "They don't teach this at school anymore and a person would have to go back and research and study each one of those men's writings to find out that that's what established them. That's what gave them the inspiration to read the greatest Constitution this world has ever seen.
Obviously, they don't do a very good job of teaching the origins of the Constitution in schools anymore, if grown up legislators think that the Ten Commandments were a greater influence than the works of classical and Enlightenment philosophers. Then again, it would be a lot cheaper to get the Ten Commandments inscribed in granite than, say, Hobbes's Leviathan.
We're actually hoping that Mr. Guffey is successful in pushing this through, though -- if only to see what those trolls at The Satanic Temple come up with in response.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.