"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."


Monday, August 11, 2014

Jackson County Courthouse , Scottsboro, Alabama Jackson County Commission Work Session August 11, 2014 - GOP Strategy, Ten Commandments to be Displayed, or Are the Taxpayers Seen as a Money Tree?

(Story last updated 10AM, Aug 13, 2014) Regular Session and the rest of the Work Session videos and agenda will be posted soon.

GOP Strategy at work in Jackson County Alabama - Politics do not equal religious values, freedom and liberty as outlined in our Constitution. How do you rally people to oppose the Affordable Care Act? "The promise of the Ten Commandments, is how you get a person without healthcare to vote for the party whose platform is based on repealing the Affordable Care Act."  

The above video with historical information about the Republican Party in Alabama regarding the 10 Commandments issue has been censored, thus far, 3 times on al.com's Scottsboro Forum. The item is currently up as posted by friends of this blog on Aug. 13, 2014 at 9:50AM. http://www.al.com/forums/scottsboro/index.ssf

This is the censored posting: 
9264. Republican Party of Alabama and the Ten Commandments by EagleN4457, 08/13/14 9:50 AM
Al.com article on "Things I learned during the Alabama Legislature's Ten Commandments debate today - Should Alabamians be able to hang the Ten Commandments in public buildings, including schools and courthouses?" http://blog.al.com/wire/2014/02/things_i_learned_during_the_al.html

WAFF coverage: http://www.waff.com/story/26262680/jackson-co-seeks-input-on-ten-commandments-installation-at-courthouse

Local issue in Jackson County-Historical Documents Display Ten Commandments, Declaration of Independence, Constitution - I guess folks failed to realize that the Declaration and the Constitution are outside of Courtroom #1 on the wall under glass and has been there for years. Some are saying this is an issue to rally citizens to support the GOP for the purpose of defeating the Affordable Care Act: http://youtu.be/15x9rYdO0R4 

Item 4 on the Work Session Agenda: Jackson County Commission to decide on display of 10 Commandments along with Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution as Historical Documents related to the founding of our nation. Commissioner Tim Guffey brought forth the discussion. It was stated by the Chairman if costs for the displays could be acquired, the issue could be voted on at next Monday's meeting. Has the budget problem suddenly disappeared, can the citizens of Jackson County now enjoy this type of expenditure?

WAFF NEWS Report by Steve McLamb on issue with video
4:30PM WAFF news report by Steven McLamb: Mr. Tim Guffey has stated no county funds will be utilized for this display. Further news updates will follow.

6PM WAFF by Steve McLamb: "He believes the country is moving away from the foundation it was formed upon, and feels those documents collectively would serve as a public reminder...Guffey hopes this starts a grassroots movement and hopefully encourages other counties to do the same. He hopes to take the rest of the month getting input from residents before introducing the resolution for a vote." http://www.waff.com/story/26262680/jackson-co-seeks-input-on-ten-commandments-installation-at-courthouse  4:30PM WAFF news report by Steven McLamb: Mr. Tim Guffey has stated no county funds will be utilized for this display. Further news updates will follow.

I'm wondering if folks realize that outside of Court Room 1 in the Jackson County Courthouse, a copy of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution are posted under glass on the wall, been there for years.

Alabama GOP/Tea Party Issue - "According to the Pew Research Center, Alabama is the second most religious state in the nation with 74 percent of residents saying religion is very important in their lives. Number one is Mississippi. It is a pitiful irony that those states that are most religious are also states with the most individual suffering. More than 30 percent of the children in these two states suffer extreme poverty. In both states, the primary reason for abject poverty is that more than a third of children have parents who lack secure employment, decent wages, and healthcare... these poor saps vote for the party that rejects Medicaid expansion, opposes early education expansion, legislates larger cuts to education, and slashes food stamps to make room for oil and agriculture subsidies on top of tax cuts and loopholes for corporations and the wealthy."

In the last session of the state legislature, the Alabama Senate attempted to legislate for the display of Ten Commandments in public buildings, such as courthouses and schools.
State Sen. Trip Pittman (R-AL),  "We talk about the constitutionality of them, but we have to understand the purpose of these is the laws of God," he said. "And we think they may have passed irrelevance because of the constitutional question, but beyond that, which is the most important, it's also about behavior and conduct through the ages."
State Rep. DuWayne Bridges (R-AL) declared, “School shootings, patricide and matricide are due to the Ten Commandments not being displayed in schools and other government buildings.” Bridges also said, "The Tenth Amendment [sic] was adopted before the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea because Moses didn't get to cross the Red Sea.”  

Shrewd political strategy - for the promise of tax cuts for the rich is hardly an effective platform for rallying the Republican Party base in a midterm election year. The promise of the Ten Commandments, however, is how you get a person without healthcare to vote for the party whose platform is based on repealing the Affordable Care Act.  Read More at: http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/how-hyper-religious-political-stunts-republicans-keeps-their-voters-captive

Supreme Court of the United States Symbols Displayed
Representations of symbols in the Supreme Court and their official descriptions may be found here, this includes the descriptions of the "Law Givers:" Confucius, Mohammed and Moses, among others, are displayed.   http://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?Search=Courtroom+Friezes&type=Site

The American Center for Law and Justice has this to say:  "The Public Display of the Ten Commandments on Government Property May be Constitutional if Done Properly. While the Court decides these issues on a case by case basis, it seems that the display of the Ten Commandments in courthouses and capital buildings does not violate the Court’s view of the First Amendment when there is a secular purpose for the display, the display is paid for by private parties, and the display includes other equally prominent foundational documents."  http://aclj.org/church-state/ten-commandments

Applicable articles questioning whether the Ten Commandments should be displayed.
"The idea that the United States could be a “Christian nation” is theologically problematic.  The only “Christian nation” which the New Testament envisions is the Kingdom of God, which transcends national, cultural, and ethnic boundaries.  Were the United States to be a “Christian nation,” she would have to do more than celebrate Christmas as a federal holiday and display the Ten Commandments in her courthouses.  If she were held to the same standards to which the New Testament holds the Christian community, the United States would have to embody Christian principles, including the mandate to love one’s enemy, eschew power, put away the sword, give freely without any expectation of repayment, and – because she is very rich – sell all her material possessions, donate the proceeds to the poor, then take up a cross of discipleship.  The consumerism and materialism which characterize so much of the American ethos – Jefferson’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was a modification of John Locke’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of property,” and indeed most versions of the American Dream equate property with happiness – seem to be at odds with most versions of core Christian values.  In short, the United States is not a “Christian nation,” and simply displaying representations of the Ten Commandments in public locations does not change this reality." http://www.stateofformation.org/2011/01/five-reasons-why-i-a-christian-oppose-the-public-display-of-the-ten-commandments-part-i/

RECENT NEW MEXICO CASE "Peter Simonson, ACLU of New Mexico's executive director, praised the ruling, calling it “a victory for the First Amendment's protections against government endorsed religion...We firmly support the right of individuals, religious groups and community associations to publicly display religious monuments, but the government should not be in the business of picking which sets of religious beliefs belong at city hall...”"
http://www.daily-times.com/four_corners-news/ci_26296273/federal-judge-rules-ten-commandments-monument-front-bloomfield  AP report on case: http://www.heraldstandard.com/united_states_ap/judge-rules-ten-commandments-monument-must-go/article_e27ec7cb-5329-5bdc-bb39-4b5a5ffb5778.html

SUPREME COURT OF THE U.S - MCCREARY COUNTY vs ACLU, 2004 - Discussion -  "The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued three Kentucky counties in federal district court for displaying framed copies of the Ten Commandments in courthouses and public schools. The ACLU argued the displays violated the First Amendment's establishment clause, which prohibits the government from passing laws "respecting an establishment of religion." The district court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the displays violated the establishment clause."

Decision - "In a 5-4 opinion delivered by Justice David Souter, the majority held that the displays violated the establishment clause because their purpose had been to advance religion. In the case of each of the displays, the Court held, an observer would have concluded that the government was endorsing religion. The first display for presenting the Ten Commandments in isolation; the second for showing the Commandments along with other religious passages; the third for presenting the Commandments in a presentation of the "Foundations of American Law," an exhibit in which the county reached "for any way to keep a religious document on the walls of courthouses."  http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_03_1693#argument

The Tax Payers are not "money trees."

If the Ten Commandments, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are an issue which demands immediate attention for a display, then I would suggest that public funds not be expended for any of the display. A non-profit organization should be founded and they raise the money for the displays. The county commissioners may decide where the historical documents may be displayed.

(Updates - 9AM, 5PM, 6:15PM Aug 12, 2014)

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