Alabama Senate Advances Ballot Initiative Proposal Allowing Ten Commandments to Be Displayed in Public Buildings, Schools

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Senate has advanced a bill that would place on the November ballot an initiative that would amend the state Constitution to expressly allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public buildings and schools.

S.B. 181 was approved by an overwhelming vote of 23-3 on Tuesday, and now moves to the House for consideration. The proposal was presented by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville.

“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 bill reads in part. “The civil and political rights, privileges, and capacities of no person shall be diminished or enlarged on account of his or her religious belief.”

“The Ten Commandments shall be displayed in a manner that complies with constitutional requirements, including, but not limited to, being intermingled with historical or educational items, or both, in a larger display within or on property owned or administrated by a public school or public body,” it outlines.

Read the bill in full here.

Dial, 81, said that he believes that children might rethink harming their fellow students if they see God’s law before their eyes.

“I believe that if you had the Ten Commandments posted in a prominent place in school, it has the possibility to prohibit some student from taking action to kill other students,” Dial stated, according to the Alabama Political Reporter. “If this bill stops one school shooting in Alabama, just one, then it’s worth the time and effort we’re putting into it.”

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However, some Democratic lawmakers asserted that the amendment would violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

“While I understand where you’re going, I just have a problem with wanting to put into the Constitution—when we have a right to freedom of religion in this state and in this country—one sect or a religion and not allow all others,” Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greenboro, remarked.

Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, who professes to be a Christian, presented an amendment to Dial’s bill that would have allowed symbols or text from other religions to be displayed, but it was ultimately struck down.

Should the Alabama House of Representatives approve S.B. 181, the question will then be presented to voters in November.

As previously reported, John Adams, second president of the United States, wrote in his diary on Feb. 22, 1756, “Suppose a nation in some distant region, should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. Every member would be obliged in conscience to temperance and frugality and industry, to justice and kindness and charity towards his fellow men, and to piety and love, and reverence towards almighty God.”

“In this Commonwealth, no man would impair his health by gluttony, drunkenness or lust—no man would sacrifice his most precious time to cards, or any other trifling and mean amusement—no man would steal or lie or any way defraud his neighbour, but would live in peace and goodwill with all men. No man would blaspheme his Maker or profane his worship, but a rational and manly, a sincere and unaffected piety and devotion, would reign in all hearts.”

“What a Eutopia, what a paradise would this region be,” Adams declared.

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  • Shaun Anderson

    And let the lawsuits (the Alabama will lose) begin…..

  • ZappaSaid88

    If this passes there will be an instant lawsuit that Alabama will lose.

  • ♥LadyInChrist♥InGodITrust♥

    May God;s Will be done.

  • Reason2012

    They were already allowed: it’s called the First Amendment. No such law is needed to afford people the right to do so on a case by case basis, if they want to, or not to if they don’t want to.

    • james blue

      So schools can have Islamic texts on display?

  • Good news for Alabama schools!

  • james blue

    Well that’s going down in the courts big time.

  • Coach

    …now if we could get churches to post the Ten Commandments instead of cheesy messages used to attract everyone except Christians. When you say “we’re a church for the unchurched” you admit that you’re mocking God and are apostate.

  • Tangent002 ✓

    Since this bill is specific to the Ten Commandments and no other religious doctrine, there is no possible way it will survive legal challenge.

  • Tangent002 ✓

    Alabama. The only state Mississippi can point to and laugh.

  • Guzzman

    I’m guessing any change to the state constitution allowing government to post the Ten Commandments on government property will be challenged in court.

    In the majority of cases considering government posting of the Ten Commandments, courts have prohibited stand-alone religious displays based on the long held constitutional principle that the government may not take any action that endorses a specific religious belief.

    “Whether the key word is ‘endorsement’, ‘favoritism’, or ‘promotion’, the essential principle remains the same. The Establishment Clause [of the First Amendment], at the very least, prohibits government from appearing to take a position on questions of religious belief.” Allegheny County v. ACLU.

  • Doug Indeap

    The Alabama Senate is sorely misguided. The Constitution, particularly the First Amendment, embodies the simple, just idea that each of us should be free to exercise his or her religion without expecting that the government will endorse or promote that religion and without fearing that the government will endorse or promote the religions of others. By keeping government and religion separate, the Constitution serves to protect the freedom of all to exercise their religion. Reasonable people may differ, naturally, on how these principles should be applied in various situations, but the principles are hardly to be doubted. Moreover, they are good, sound principles that have long stood us in good stead and should be nurtured and defended, not attacked. Efforts to undercut our secular government by somehow merging or infusing it with religion should be resisted by every patriot.

  • Herrnhut

    The Law is true but only condemns. In the next chapter the true Hebrew servant will come. He loves his master, his wife and his children. Jesus comes as the servant pierced for us so his wife and his children are saved forever.

    Now the Hebrew servant already come and then all these rebels rather go back to law of the old religion than grace of Christ. Quake, whirlwinds and curses are no fun.