Robert Knight

The schools tried a variety of solutions, including replacing the Ten Commandments with a copy of the Declaration of Independence. This didn’t sit well with many in the community. On Jan. 11, 2011, a meeting was held with about 200 people, including pastors, and a short time later, the school board voted to reinstall the displays.

The Commandments were re-posted, and then taken down again upon the advice of counsel. A local attorney proposed a display that would include the Decalogue in a historic exhibit about Western foundational law and government.

It’s unclear whether the ACLU will accept the judge’s offered compromise, since the six remaining commandments came from the God Who is not supposed to be mentioned on government property, even though it’s part of the universe that He created.

“We intend to show that the School Board cannot simply shroud its religious purpose for posting the Ten Commandments by surrounding it with historical documents,” said ACLU of Virginia Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg.

The ACLU’s press release notes that “The Ten Commandments are posted on a main hallway at the high school, near the trophy case and on the way to the cafeteria, where it is seen by students every day.”

If that’s not enough for a sensitive, easily offended student to lose his or her lunch, what is?

According to Liberty Counsel, which is representing the school district, “The Virginia Standards of Learning requires students to know about the foundational principles of civilizations, including the Hebrews, and the foundations of law and government. Secular textbooks published by Prentice Hall and McGraw-Hill trace the roots of democracy and law and specifically refer to the Ten Commandments and many of the documents posted as part of the Foundations Display.”

To the ACLU, the other documents are fig leaves:

“Given the history of the School Board’s Ten Commandments displays, any alleged secular purpose for the current displays are [sic], and will be perceived as, a sham. The displays were erected with the primary aim of advancing religion.”

It’s a warped reversal of the ACLU’s logic back when they argued that fig leaves like Hugh Hefner’s hedonistic “Playboy Philosophy” essays turned his skin magazines into constitutionally protected works of literary merit. Hefner’s primary aim, of course, was to advance pornography (and his wallet), but in the ACLU’s world, that’s more than okay. So what if it was a sham?

C.S. Lewis observed that the agenda of the Left is to make religion private and pornography public. In Virginia, the ACLU, otherwise known as the devil’s law firm, is still doing its best to live down to that demonic goal.


Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.