Friday, June 07, 2002

OK, this really ticks me off:
CHATTANOOGA (AP) — The Ten Commandments have been removed from Hamilton County court buildings, ending an episode that may cost the government as much as $80,000.

[County Commission Chairman Bill Hullander] said he believes a drop in Hamilton County's crime rate can be attributed to the posting of the Ten Commandments. [...] The ACLU submitted a bill this week for more than $50,000. Hamilton County's attorney estimates the county owes between $30,000 and $40,000 for outside legal fees.

Many of the quixotic chumps pushing this crap are the same ones protesting big government and wasteful spending. Well, here's a perfect example of waste in government. (the article goes on to say that the county commissioners who voted to post the commandments originally said public money would not be used to defend the decision, but it fails to state where else the $80,000 in legal fees might come from.)

Before the bible thumpers track me down, I should point out that I have nothing in particular against the 10 Commandments. But I also believe in the Bill of Rights, which is designed to keep government out of the religion business. Say we post the 10 Commandments. Well, what happens next week when Satanists want their manifesto posted in the courthouse?

And the idea that this is some sort of deterrent to crime is absurd. I can just see it:

HEAVILY ARMED ROBBER: Stick em' up. And gimme all the money from the register before I blow your brains out.
SCARED CONVENIENCE STORE CLERK: You know, according to the 10 commandments posted in the county courthouse, holding up convenience stores is wrong.
HEAVILY ARMED ROBBER: Really? I had no idea. I'll be off now -- I'm so terribly sorry for the inconvenience. Have a nice day!
I wonder what the $80,000 spent on this travesty could have purchased if it were put toward improving schools or building affordable housing...

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