Alabama Voters Allow Government to Show Ten Commandments

Voters approve government right to display the Ten Commandments

The vote held on November 6, 2018, resulted in Alabama voters approving an amendment that allows the state government to display the Ten Commandments if desired.

The Ten Commandments are a group of orders issued by the Judeo-Christian God and are common in the Christian faith. They insist that people obey God and never commit crimes like murder or theft.

However, the right of the state to display these commandments has been under fire in Alabama as well in several other states. Many argue the government should not be allowed to display them because it gives Christianity an elevated position above other religions, something that no state government has a right to do.

Yet, the so-called Amendment 1 measure on the ballot came with many other rules in place for displaying the Ten Commandments. For example, the display has to meet constitutional requirements such as being displayed alongside educational or historical items. The fact that the right to display the Ten Commandments is wrapped up in the constitution complicates the matter to some extent.

Even though the Ten Commandments can be displayed now, there are still the Supreme Court measures to consider. According to its ruling on the matter, the Supreme Court has prohibited the display of the Ten Commandments on public property for any religious purpose. Not only does that supersede the new state amendment, but the limitations imposed by that same amendment don’t favor displaying the Ten Commandments.

One of the key factors to being allowed to display the Ten Commandments is the amendment says no public money can be used for court cases stemming from lawsuits. If a group or individual sues the state for wrongfully displaying the Ten Commandments, there is no money to fight it in court resulting in an instant take-down. Either the state will need to be very careful about where it plans to put these Ten Commandments, or they risk wasting money to put them up and take them down. Thus, while the right to do so is there, the willingness to do it might not be.

The so-called Amendment 1 on the ballot this year was one of several measures that caused controversy, including one that proposed anti-abortion measures. Overall, it is clear Alabama is continuing on as a more conservative area of the United States.

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