Congressman Wants Citizens of ALL Religions to Reflect on the Ten Commandments (Redux)
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 04:24:32 PM EST
Well, it's that time of year once again -- time for some theocratic member of Congress to push for a resolution proclaiming the first weekend of May "Ten Commandments Weekend," the timing of which is designed to coincide with the National Day of Prayer.

This year, the resolution comes from Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). On April 7, Gohmert introduced H. Res. 211, a resolution "Expressing support for designation of the first weekend of May as Ten Commandments Weekend to recognize the significant contributions the Ten Commandments have made in shaping the principles, institutions, and national character of the United States."

Last year, the same resolution, with only a few very minor and entirely insignificant differences in wording, was introduced by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) as H. Res. 1175, and in previous years other "Ten Commandments Weekend" resolutions were introduced by Sam Brownback and Joe Lieberman in the Senate, and Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) in the House.

Since Gohmert's H. Res. 211 is nearly identical to Broun's H. Res. 1175, I'm just going to repost what I wrote last year.

There is, however, one important difference between last year and this year that should be noted. While the Democrats controlled the committees, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the committee to whom resolutions like this are typically referred, did a good job of keeping these resolutions from even getting to the floor for a vote. But now, with the Republicans in control, and eight members of Rep. Randy Forbes's (R-VA) Congressional Prayer Caucus, including Louie Gohmert, on this committee, I'm nowhere near as confident that this resolution will be stalled as I was last year. After all, we just saw the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution order that Forbes's resolution "Reaffirming 'In God We Trust' as the official motto of the United States," and supporting "the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions" be sent to the floor for a voice vote.

So, here's my post from last year, updated only slightly to replace Broun's name with Gohmert's, and to change the resolution's number, date, cosponsors, and exact text to the current H. Res 211. Nothing else has changed except for the likelihood that this thing might actually be passed.

Congressman Wants Citizens of ALL Religions to Reflect on the Ten Commandments

Well, spring is in the air, and that can mean only one thing: it's time for a member of Congress to introduce a resolution proclaiming the first weekend of May "Ten Commandments Weekend." This time, the resolution comes from Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

These kinds of resolutions almost always contain a dose of Christian nationalist American history revisionism, and Gohmert's resolution, H. Res. 211, is no different. In fact, just like Sen. Sam Brownback in his 2008 Ten Commandments Weekend resolution, and Broun in his, Gohmert includes a quote from John Quincy Adams in one of his "Whereas" clauses: "Whereas the sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, declared the Ten Commandments to be 'laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation, which ever professed any code of laws.'"

And, just like Brownback and Broun did in their resolutions, Gohmert omits the part of the quote in which Adams made it clear that many of the laws of the Old Testament were "adapted to that time only" and binding only on the ancient Jews. Here's what Adams actually wrote, in a letter to his son:

"The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes adapted to that time only, and to the particular circumstances of the nation to whom it was given; they could of course be binding upon them, and only upon them, until abrogated by the same authority which enacted them, as they afterward were by the Christian dispensation; but many others were of universal application -- laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation, which ever professed any code of laws."

(I think it might be relevant to note here that John Quincy Adams, although personally quite religious, took his presidential oath of office on a law book containing the Constitution rather than a Bible, because he was swearing that as president he would uphold the Constitution, not the Bible.)

Gohmert borrowed a few of the other historically questionable "Whereas" clauses from Brownback's 2008 resolution, but historical distortion is not the most outrageous thing about H. Res. 211. While the first two "resolves" of Gohmert's resolution are copied almost word for word from Brownback, the third is beefed up, calling for citizens of ALL religions to reflect on the Ten Commandments. Even Brownback didn't go this far.

Resolved, That the House of Representatives --

(1) supports the designation of Ten Commandments Weekend;

(2) celebrates the significant role the Ten Commandments have played in the development of significant public and private institutions of the United States; and

(3) encourages citizens of all faiths and religious persuasions to reflect on the important impact that the Ten Commandments have had on the people and national character of the United States.

Apparently, Gohmert doesn't see any problem whatsoever with Congress encouraging people of "all faiths and religious persuasions" to follow his religion. After all, as he expressed in another of his resolution's "Whereas" clauses, the laws of his religion "transcend the diversity of cultural expression and faith in the United States."

Here's the full text of H. Res. 211:

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. RES. 211

Expressing support for designation of the first weekend of May as Ten Commandments Weekend to recognize the significant contributions the Ten Commandments have made in shaping the principles, institutions, and national character of the United States.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 7, 2011

Mr. GOHMERT (for himself, Mr. HUIZENGA of Michigan, Mr. GINGREY of Georgia, Mr. BROOKS, Mrs. SCHMIDT, Mr. SOUTHERLAND, Mr. GOSAR, Mr. PENCE, Mr. HERGER, Mr. LAMBORN, Mr. WEBSTER, Mr. WALBERG, Mrs. HARTZLER, Mr. STUTZMAN, Mr. BARTLETT, Mr. BISHOP of Utah, Mr. GIBBS, Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California, Mr. WILSON of South Carolina, Mr. JONES, Mr. BROUN of Georgia, and Mr. NEUGEBAUER) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

RESOLUTION

Expressing support for designation of the first weekend of May as Ten Commandments Weekend to recognize the significant contributions the Ten Commandments have made in shaping the principles, institutions, and national character of the United States.

Whereas from the founding days of the United States, the Ten Commandments have been part of the Nation's basic cultural fabric;

Whereas the sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, declared the Ten Commandments to be `laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation, which ever professed any code of laws';

Whereas the Ten Commandments are a widely respected code of personal conduct and a declaration of fundamental principles for a fair and just society that transcend the diversity of cultural expression and faith in the United States;

Whereas a marble relief of Moses, the bearer of the Ten Commandments, is prominently displayed over the gallery doors of the chamber of the House of Representatives, in the United States Capitol;

Whereas images of the Ten Commandments are prominently displayed in many Federal buildings, such as the United States Supreme Court, National Archives, and Library of Congress; and

Whereas in addition to being understood as an elemental source for United States law, the Ten Commandments have become a recognized symbol in the Nation's culture: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives --

(1) supports the designation of Ten Commandments Weekend;

(2) celebrates the significant role the Ten Commandments have played in the development of significant public and private institutions of the United States; and

(3) encourages citizens of all faiths and religious persuasions to reflect on the important impact that the Ten Commandments have had on the people and national character of the United States.




Display:
taunts concerning a person's name, but I can't help it in Gohmert's case. He really is the reality version of Gomer Pyle, without the "nice" part. His "Killer Muslim Anchor Babies" debacle should have clued people in to just how backwards and confused ol' Gomer really is, or at least caused him to keep quiet, but no, just the opposite has occurred. It would be delicious if he weren't in such a position of authority.

There is only one other Rep. that turns my stomach just listening to them, and that is Rep. Virginia Foxx. As a former school teacher, I find her hate-filled diatribes and 'very loose with the facts' assertions to be willfully committed merely for political gain. When she said that calling Matthew Shepard's death due to being gay a "hoax", she showed just how low and base she'd stoop for a few religious-right votes. Despicable, both of them, as are many others.



by trog69 on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 05:40:02 PM EST


by trog69 on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 05:41:27 PM EST
Parent


...to reflect upon the Ten Commandments and;

the way that they have been made an idol in the US and our population called upon to worship them; and

the way the Word of G*d, taken wrongly or in vain, is being used to divide our people and establish a religion contrary to Amendment I of the Constitution; and

the way the Word of G*d, taken wrongly or in vain, is being used in the interest of personal gain (covetousness and stealing); and

the way the Word of G*d, taken wrongly or in vain, is being used to justify bearing false witness against others and inflame others to murder those falsely maligned.

Were the Ten Commandments so important to the founders of this country, they would have been enshrined in the Constitution.

There is much good in the Ten Commandment, enough so that standing opposed to their enshrinement suggests one might be of evil intent. However, the good comes with the unacceptable.

The word and name of G*d is unclear and ambiguous in the text when interpreted with in the world of diversity. Wars have been waged -- and continue to explode -- over nuances of interpretation of the holy Name.

The sanctity of the seventh day varies among those who would enshrine the Ten Commandments, and over the history of the US, that particular commandment has caused major problems for communities and people -- perhaps contemplation of that commandment and its effect on our country is in order, if only to stifle such ill-begotten resolutions.

Giving special emphasis and honor to the sacred and authoritative text of one segment of American religiosity, calling upon all Americans to venerate it, is an establishment of religion offensive to those with different sacred texts and those whose religions specifically denies the authority of any sacred text. Contemplating this issue -- in writing and for publication -- should be required of each and every elected official who has taken oath to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States of America.

by Khalila RedBird on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 01:19:08 PM EST



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