"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." -- Bertrand Russell

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ten Commandments Taken Down in Giles, Va

I've previously blogged about the situation in Giles County, Va, concerning hanging the Ten Commandments in the school. There's been a new development in the case that I wanted to state here. According to the Roanoke Times:
The board voted unanimously to replace the commandments with a copy of a page from a history textbook that mentions the Ten Commandments in conjunction with American government and morality. The commandments themselves do not appear on the page; they are represented by a drawing of two tablets.
I've read a photocopy of the  new document. It does detail that our system of government was influenced by Enlightenment thought and by Greco-Roman systems of government. I applaud both of those features, commonly denied by the Christian Right. Strangely, when discussing the Enlightenment influences, the document only references John Locke and Montesquieu. There are several others that would likely be worthwhile to mention -- Voltaire and Rousseau being perhaps obvious examples. Nonetheless, not everyone could be covered in the small space and perhaps this omission could be excused.

Church Apologises For Homophobic Discrimination?

It recently came to my attention via the "Gender Equality" Facebook group that a church put up a billboard in North Carolina condemning the denial of rights and inequality to homosexuals in the "name of God". Here's the billboard:

Hemant Mehta, of "Friendly Atheist" fame, is worried that this might be a meaningless gesture. Does this group still believe homosexuality is a sin? Do they support same-sex marriage?

If the answer to these two questions are "yes" and "no", Hemant says, there is nothing to get excited about here. But I think there's an additional issue worth considering. What follows is an edited version of a message I left on the Gender Equality group's page (posted here).