Arkansas passes an 11 Commandments bill | Arkansas Blog

Arkansas passes an 11 Commandments bill

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Thanks to a Kentucky blogger I've learned that Sen. Jason Rapert's plan to install a 10 Commandments monument on the Capitol lawn might cost 10 percent more than anticipated. The bill seems to set out 11 commandments.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
happily signed the bill yesterday, burnishing his reputation as an exemplar of Religious Right leadership, not to mention showing he's another political leader who talks leaner government while encouraging expensive lawsuits.

From Thomas E. Rutledge's Kentucky Business Entity Law blog:

While the findings in the bill to the effect that the 10 Commandments formed a foundational text of the United States and Arkansas and lay out a philosophy of government are certainly open to critique and criticism, that can be a discussion for another day. Rather, what is initially interesting is that the bill sets forth the required text of the 10 Commandments, namely:

“The Ten Commandments

I AM the LORD thy God.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven images.

Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.”

That is copied directly from the bill. What is interesting is what happens when you start numbering the “10” Commandments, namely:


“The Ten Commandments

I AM the LORD thy God.

(1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

(2) Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven images.

(3) Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.

(4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

(5) Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

(6) Thou shalt not kill.

(7) Thou shalt not commit adultery.

(8) Thou shalt not steal.

(9) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

(10) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house.

(11) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.”


Last time I checked eleven was not ten. Is there something in the Arkansas education system we should know about?

He quotes the law correctly. Bro. Rapert can surely explain, probably by saying those last two Shalt Nots are typically rolled together into one Shalt Not.

More interesting religious motivations await when he's questioned under oath in the likely lawsuit challenging use of public property to advance his idea of religion.

We're lucky, I guess, that Rapert didn't edit in a Thou Shalt Not about equal rights for homosexuals. That's in Rapert's and Hutchinson's Bible, after all. More important, even, than the verses about loving everyone.

That photo? Rapert apparently has enlisted in a massive resistance movement being planned by extremist so-called Christians in the event the U.S. Supreme Court invalidates bans on same-sex marriage. It's being styled — unbelievably — a "Bonhoeffer moment," as if equal rights for gay people is analogous to Nazi atrocities. 



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