Satanic Temple Intervening in Lawsuit Against AR Ten Commandments Monument

Yesterday U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker allowed the Satanic Temple to intervene in a lawsuit over the state’s monument of the Ten Commandments on the Arkansas Capitol lawn.

In 2015 the Arkansas Legislature authorized the privately funded Ten Commandments monument that is identical to a monument the U.S. Supreme Court ruled constitutional in Texas a few years ago.

However, last June the American Humanist Association and the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit against the state to have the monument removed. Now the Satanic Temple will be part of that lawsuit as well.

Both the Satanic Temple and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have made headlines recently over their efforts to oppose Christmas celebrations and displays.

In Ohio the Freedom From Religion Foundation successfully bullied a town into removing a Ten Commandments monument and a Nativity scene from public property.

In the Illinois capitol rotunda the Satanic Temple installed a temporary “Snaketivity” display that features a human hand holding an apple with a snake coiled around it. Beneath the statue read the words, “Knowledge Is The Greatest Gift.”

As we have said before, city, county, and state officials are free to celebrate Christmas. Courts also have ruled that the government can recognize the significant impact of the Ten Commandments down through the years.

We need to understand and appreciate the significance of the Ten Commandments — including their impact on our system government and their relevance to us still today. Unfortunately some groups seem determined to erase anything that acknowledges that significance from the public sphere.

Atheist Group Demands AR Governor Stop Sharing Bible Verses

Last week the atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation based in Wisconsin sent a letter to Governor Asa Hutchinson demanding he stop sharing scripture verses via social media.

The letter reads in part,

We understand that every Sunday, you post or tweet an image with a bible verse from your official, government Facebook page and Twitter account.

But it is not for the government in our secular republic to promote one religious book over others or to promote religion over nonreligion. Doing so violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

We’ve written before about similar efforts to purge religious references from public life in Arkansas.

Here’s the bottom line:

By most accounts, the Bible is the single most widely-read book in the history of human civilization.

In Europe and America, public speakers, writers, and elected officials have quoted it routinely for centuries.

The President of the United States typically takes the Oath of Office on a Bible.

Elected officials often share well-known, popular, or inspirational quotes via their official social media accounts.

Given all of this, why shouldn’t an elected official be able to post a Bible verse on Facebook or Twitter?