The state of Alabama may get more Ten Commandments displays on public property if a proposed constitutional amendment passes next week.
Voters on Tuesday will decide whether to amend the state constitution so that the Ten Commandments can be displayed on public property, provided it is done so “in a manner that complies” with federal “constitutional requirements”
Known as Amendment 1, the proposal could lead to more displays of the Ten Commandments in public schools and on government land -- perhaps surrounded by historical documents to make them more palatable to U.S. constitutional law.
Mat Staver, president and founder of the legal group Liberty Counsel, supports the amendment.
“It doesn't change what the U.S. Supreme Court would do on something of this nature other than in that area it would give comfort, I guess, or some guidance to the display of the Ten Commandments," Staver told he Associated Press.
Randall Marshall of the ACLU of Alabama said the amendment could lead to lawsuits.
“A school district just posting the Ten Commandment as a stand alone document is going to find themselves getting sued. It's going to be held to be unconstitutional,” Marshall told AP.
The amendment reads, in part, “Property belonging to the state may be used to display the Ten Commandments, and the right of a public school and public body to display the Ten Commandments on property owned or administrated by a public school or public body in this state is not restrained or abridged.”
The amendment concludes, “The Ten Commandments shall be displayed in a manner that complies with constitutional requirements, including, but not limited to, being intermingled with historical or educational items, or both, in a larger display within or on property owned or administrated by a public school or public body.”
The amendment also has a section protecting an individual’s religious freedom. It reads: “Every person shall be at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of his or her own conscience.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.