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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

The argument isn't just over monument

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Why are some so fearful of a simple monument containing the Ten Commandments that happens to be located in a judicial building in Alabama? The irony to me at least is not the opposition to the monument itself but rather its location. By its location, there are those who interpret this as some form of religious connection or mandate to the people who enter that building. To me it's nothing more than a recognition that these 10 simple rules of living are the basis by which all men should form their lives.

But the battle over the placement of the Ten Commandment monument will be lost by those who support its placement in that location. The vocal minority will win the court case and perhaps before this column is printed, the monument will be moved.

Moving the monument may form a hollow victory for those who fight zealously to remove all forms of religion from our society. But the battle is not about location. The battle is about a nation which either upholds the principles spelled out in those 10 simple rules or abandons them piece by piece.

We fight battles every day over a Constitution written well over 200 years ago. As humans, we interpret and reinterpret the meaning of words and phrases that form our code of laws.

And as humans, we make mistakes.

I find no harm whatsoever with the Ten Commandments being located on a monument in a courthouse in Alabama. But I know there are those who do. I won't even question their motives.

That is between them and their God and, quite frankly, it's none of my business why they feel and act as they do. They alone will have to answer for their actions and I'm in no position to judge their motives.

But I do find fault with a system of laws that gives more power and authority to the minority than to the majority.

That's a pretty simplistic notion and you could easily argue that majority rule is not the best solution in all instances. But there is a line out there somewhere that we should not cross. And we teeter perilously close to that line with increased regularity.

You can remove a monument but the principles spelled out on that monument will remain. You can remove a flag that has negative meaning to some but the true principles for which that flag stood will remain long after the flag has been removed. You can remove prayer from the lips of public discourse but you cannot remove that prayer from the hearts and souls of man.

So remove the monument - cover it with cardboard and cart it to another resting place. And those who fear that this simple expression will somehow soil the actions of government can then rejoice in their victory and pick another fight for another day.

But hear these words and understand their meaning - victory will come to those who stand by and live by the rules outlined on that simple monument. And it won't be a court of men in black robes who interpret those actions. It will be a higher authority.



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