The Ten Commandments And The First Amendment

On Wednesday, one day after the installation of a monument portraying the Ten Commandments on Arkansas Capitol grounds, it was run over by a man yelling “Freedom!” According to Townhall, “Michael Reed, a 32-year-old from Van Buren, Arkansas with a history of mental illness, recorded himself ramming his car into the monument, shouting “freedom” shortly before impact. Reed has previously been accused of destroying a similar Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma.”

This disturbing act launched a nationwide debate over whether the Arkansas law that required the Ten Commandments monument allowed near the Capitol in the first place was constitutional or not. The answer: of course! In fact, the grandiose basis of constitutionality is rooted in the very First Amendment in the Bill of Rights and the monument’s non-violative nature of said amendment. The leftist, atheist, and idiotic argument against the Ten Commandment monument’s placement is also ingrained in the First Amendment, unjustifiably so.

The left, atheists, and Satanists alike are holding on to the false notion that the monument is violative of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. This is pure conjecture with zero basis in fact nor the text of the Constitution. The Establishment Clause reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Essentially, this clause explicitly prohibits the government from forcing religion onto its citizens as well as compelling others to cease practicing their religion. The issue with this clause is that it simply does not apply to the monument’s case as the monument is neither forcing religion onto people by threat of government gun nor prohibiting others from practicing their religion of choice. One is free to do what one wishes in the sense of their personal religious regardless of the presence of the Ten Commandments.

The fact is that America’s values are embedded in Judeo-Christian culture; recognizing that truth vis-à-vis the installation of a monument depicting the Ten Commandments, one of the staples of Judeo-Christian culture, by a state’s Capitol grounds isn’t immoral, it isn’t fallacious of history, and it isn’t illegal.

Those simple truths are neglected time and time again by folks on the left as they continuously misinterpret the Constitution in order to push their own societal views onto others via the government. Our court system has been replete with instances of similar cases. Sometimes our judicial oligarchs have ruled in favor of the text, and some in favor of what they wish were in the text. Therein lies the problem with judicial review, the system that allows the United States judiciary to determine whether or not a piece of legislation is in conflict with values promulgated by the Constitution: rulings under judicial review have a chance of being arbitrary and conflicting with said values. We see this in cases like Roper v. Simmons, which usurped the rights of state legislators and barred states from employing the death penalty for those under 18. It is within the state’s legislative purview as to whether that decision is made, not the unelected oligarchs sitting on the court. If something is unconstitutional according to the text of the Constitution, it is the court’s job, under judicial review, to label it as such. If a law is constitutional, but the court’s justices hold a personal contempt for the law, it is not, under the powers given to them by the Constitution, their job to strike it down; it is the legislature’s job.

We see court decisions fueled by disdain for religious doctrine as a whole rather than unconstitutionality in our recent history. As explained why before, the Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds is not unconstitutional. However, according to a case that involved a similar monument in a Kentucky courthouse, you will hear otherwise. Presumably stimulated by anti-religious dogma, the Supreme Court deemed that monument had no place inside a courthouse on account of it being a religious symbol. A garbage ruling as it isn’t violative of the Establishment Clause.

The Ten Commandments monument did not force religion. We know this because all it served only as a reminder of our country’s founding and a set of wholesome morals it espouses. No one is being compelled to convert to Judaism or Christianity because of a monument, just as no one is being forced to convert to Judaism or Christianity because “In God we trust” is on our currency.

Greg Matusow

Author: Greg Matusow

Greg Matusow is a conservative writer and founder of Matusow.net