Faith

Community Places Ten Commandments Monument Across from School

After a Texas high school removed a mural of the Ten Commandments, members of the community decided to erect a display across from the school.

A 10-foot tall monument to the Ten Commandments now sits on private property across from a high school forced to cover up a display of them inside the school building.

The controversy began back in September when the Freedom From Religion Foundation notified the school it had received a complaint about the display of the Ten Commandments on school grounds, which is, of course, a violation of the Separation of Church and State.

When district officials learned of the possibility of a lawsuit, they covered the display with a paper.

Students tore the paper down.

Officials then covered it with an American flag.

Students started posting Bible verses on sticky notes all around the flag.

The message was eventually painted over to avoid the lawsuit.

Residents of O’Donnell, Texas gathered on private land across from O’Donnell High School this week to unveil a 10-foot monument of the Biblical commands.

A pastor at the event claimed the community was “rocked to the core” when the complaint was received.

I’m sure someone there used the tired old line about “taking God out of the school” because, you know, any time Separation of Church and State is brought up, it turns into a cry of “religious persecution.”

It isn’t.

The Ten Commandments should never have gone up in the school to begin with. Students who attend and who happen to be Christian are free to carry those verses in their pocket and refer to them any time. That’s their right. But for the school to allow that message to be displayed was a decision that shouldn’t have been made.

And to anyone who genuinely believes the threat of a lawsuit kicked God out of that school, I have to wonder which “god” they worship.

The God I believe in is the One who created everything and is infinite.
The God I believe in is everywhere.
The God I believe in is too powerful to be “kicked out” just because a religious display is removed from a wall on which it should never have been painted to begin with.

Maybe their “god” is too small.

I hope the community is able to reach out to non-believers in a positive way through this display. All to often, Christians seem obsessed with “one-upping” their “opponents,” when God might be more pleased to see them offering an olive branch instead.

It’s nice that the community of believers there came together.

I hope they’re willing to come together with those who believe differently and have a meaningful dialog.

That would really be an accomplishment!

1 Comment

  1. This sounds like the perfect compromise in this situation. As an atheist, I would have objected to such a monument on public property such as at a school. Private property is an entirely different matter.
    I really don’t understand why more christians don’t understand how important the separation of church and state is to ALL of us. (Especially if you consider the experiences that many religious people had and continue to have with state-sponsored religion in other countries)

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.