Thou shall post the Ten Commandments…for now

To show his support for students forbidden to post copies of the Ten Commandments in Giles County Public Schools, Jacob Agee and fellow members of the Floyd County High School chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes posted copies on their lockers.

And school administrators took them down.

Now they can go back up while the school board and superintendent Terry Arbogast review and revise an overall school policy on posting things on lockers, Arbogast told the Liberty Counsel this week.

Writes Amy Matzke-Fawcett in The Roanoke Times

Floyd High School students can again post the Ten Commandments on their lockers — for now.

“We have decided to review our policy and procedures to put in writing more specific guidelines for students,” Floyd County Superintendent Terry Arbogast wrote in a letter this week to the Liberty Counsel.

“Until that review and publication occurs, Jacob will be permitted to place on his locker a copy of the Ten Commandments as requested.”

Jacob Agee is the Floyd County High School student named in the Liberty Counsel’s original letter to the school system, dated Feb. 24 stating school administrators should allow students to repost the Ten Commandments.

According to the Liberty Counsel, Agee and other members of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes posted copies of the commandments in response to a decision by Giles County Public Schools to take down copies there. School administrators removed the postings soon after.

This matter should be resolved as a First Amendment issue of free speech and leave religion out of the debate. Removing the postings was censorship — nothing more, nothing less.

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5 thoughts on “Thou shall post the Ten Commandments…for now”

  1. This country was founded on God and following his ways, if we don’t start standing up for that firmly and quit letting these knuckle headed atheists and left wingers trying to tell us what we can do, to not offend them, then God will release his caring hand for Us all, and let the Devil have his way.
    We need to teach that God was the maker and caring Father of the world, and also teach the big bang theory that some scientist believe in, and let the students decide.
    A good friend of mine is a history teacher and teaches both views, against the school boards will, but he firmly believes in teaching the whole truth and let the kids understand there is more then what science and history books teach.
    He teaches the truth even if it cost him his job, but he is still working.
    Why is it that nothing about God can be in the schools
    We won’t allow the Pledge of Allegiance because it has God in it.
    Kids today can cuss and dress like a bum or freak, come to school filthy,
    learn every thing about the Devil and witchcraft, and get free condoms in most schools, has no respect for elders in any way.
    We need to go back to what it was when I was in school we had a dress code and it was enforced , our hair could not be any thin other then clean cut., we respected everyone older then us.
    MOST of all if we screwed up the principal had the dreaded paddle, which really helped you remember you screw up for a very long time, it worked.
    We since Woodstock days wanted our children to have it better then us , we screwed up bad and made them much worse, then they have ever been in history,
    I say fight these atheists and people who do not believe in God to the fullest extent, and go back to what proved to work well.
    Just my thought even if many of you don’t like the truth.

    • Bob, I’m sorry but this country was founded by those who wanted to escape the tyranny of a ruthless king who, like most of our Presidents, thought God was on his side. At his coronation, King George III promised to maintain the role of and privileges of the Church of England, which included a prominent position of power in government.

      Yes, the founding fathers were mostly men of faith but they also realized that there must be separation of church and state, especially since they were trying to escape the tyranny of a monarchy where the church played a major role.

      I’m a Christian. I believe in God and Christ and I attend the church that my maternal grandparents helped found: Slate Mountain Presbyterian Church. But I still have problems with organized religion, especially when it tries to mix religion and government. Should a student be allowed to post the Ten Commandments on his locker. As a believer in free speech, I would say “yes.” But the same freedom should exist for a Muslim student who might want to post something from the Koran or a non-believer who wants to post his or her beliefs.

      The problem is not a lack of dress codes or the absence of corporal punishment. The problem is anger, hate and a disregard for the freedom of others or the rights of all to have differing opinions and beliefs.

      During the 70s, I worked for a paper in Illinois and wrote a column about the danger of mixing politics and religion. That article resulted in an invitation to participate in a panel discussion at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville on media and religion. I represented the media. We also had a priest, a rabbi, a fundamentalist minister, a moderate minister and an atheist on the panel. At one point, a student stood up and asked the priest: “Father, why are there so many different religions?

      The priest responded: “In most cases, it depends on what portions of the Bible you accept as gospel.”

      So I asked the priest: “Father, if you believe that religions are valid if based on dogma from selections — but not all — of the Bible, how can you or any of the other religious representatives here condemn the one person on the panel who does not believe in God.”

      He didn’t have an answer. After the session, he came up to me and said: “Son, you’ve given me something to think about and I pray that I can find an answer.”

      I think the answer is simple: In a free society, those of different beliefs have equal rights — be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or atheists or even witches. From my perspective, the authors of the books of the Bible were the journalists of their time. They reported on that they saw, heard or experienced and wrote about it. Did they report it correctly? That issue has been debated for centuries.

      Mark Twain said there are three sides to every story: Your side, my side and the facts. Movie producer Bob Evans modified that thought in the prologue to his biography, The Kid Stays in the Picture.”

      “There are three sides to this story,” Evans wrote. “Their side, my side and the truth…and no one is lying.”

  2. Since the lockers belong to the State, and Church and State are separate, I don’t think that students should be allowed to post anything at all on lockers. If they want to wear a T-shirt that expresses their beliefs, or put a sticker on their book bag, that’s fine. But otherwise, no. If Floyd County High School were a private school, that would be a different matter, but it isn’t – it is a State school.

  3. It seems this problem wasn’t FCA posting on “their” lockers.
    The problem is putting posters on other people’s lockers.

    Depending on your view point this could be an invasion of privacy, vandalism or even perceived as threatening. Might ask the students, to understand this action in the context of the school. I think the administration got this right.

    Members of the FCA use extremist language in meetings during school, and while proselytizing to other students. The phrase that comes to mind is referencing the 2nd Coming and how the rivers will be rendered undrinkable with blood (sic).

    I am not the only parent objecting to my children being subjected to such speech without being offered the guidance to differentiate among religious sects and branches of thought. FCHS has been tolerant to many types of speech, and gives the community many opportunities to understand other points of view. When an organization or individuals cross the line between speech and disruption then the parties involved deserve a public reaction, and private admonishment. I am not advocating closing discussion, nor am I at odds with those that wish to practice their faith; my issue is the imposition of dogma without regard to the choices of others.

    It is unfortunate the RT, WSLS etc. couldn’t deliver the rest of the story.

    • I appreciate the additional information, Jeff. And I must say that I have a lot of respect for Christians who live their faith but none for those who wear their faith on their shirt sleeves.

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