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Republican Candidates on Schools and the Ten Commandments

It seems like such a simple question, "Should the Ten Commandments be posted in the schools?" Yet, those who say, "Well, there are some good rules there for everybody" forget that some of those rules are very specific about who and what should be worshipped as a deity. And in the United States we have a rule that says that the government is not supposed to establish a religion - and giving official imprimatur to the Ten Commandments is quite along the road of doing just that.

In a debate in Iowa, the candidates for the Republican nomination for President answered the question thusly:

FORBES: "There is nothing wrong with posting the Ten Commandments in our schools today because they are the basis of Western civilization."

HATCH: "My gosh, I believe that almost anybody would say if you read the Ten Commandments that that applies universally. You don't have to be a Christian to have it apply."

McCAIN: "You know it's interesting that we begin our proceedings every day in the United States Senate with a prayer. Now, it doesn't have the beneficial effect that some desire, but it seems to be ... acceptable for the United States Senate to do that."

KEYES: "The Ten Commandments are etched into the walls of the Supreme Court. I find it rather hard to believe that it could be inappropriate to fit them on the walls of our schools."

BUSH: "It seems like to me 'Thou shalt not kill' is pretty universal. I think districts ought to be allowed to post the Ten Commandments. No matter what a person's religion is there's some inherent values in those great commandments."

BAUER: "When I'm president, there will be no more Nazi salutes in the schools, and it will be OK to hang the Ten Commandments up again - not only there but in the Oval Office."

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Drop a note to Deborah at gaylesissues@rslevinson.com

copyright 1986-2010 Deborah Levinson