There’s a common misperception among many Christians upset about the various Decalogue monument lawsuits being filed around the country that the plaintiffs in these suits are always atheists or, at a minimum, aren’t Christians. Robert Frey provides a perfect example of this misperception in his response to me the other day when he said, “Moore was simply exercising his freedom of speech and certain of your little groupies didnt like it so they sued.” He was speaking about the lawsuit over the monument installed in the Alabama State Supreme Court building by former judge Roy Moore and the implication in his statement is clear: If it weren’t for you atheists, there never would’ve been a lawsuit. In my reply I pointed out the fact that the three people who enlisted the ACLU in filing the lawsuit were, in fact, Christians. A Roman Catholic and two Southern Baptists, to be exact. Rather than being an exception to the rule this actually turns out to be fairly common yet the perception that it’s always the actions of whiny atheists that bring these lawsuits about is rather rampant.
Take, for example, the fight over a Ten Commandments display in Habersham County, Georgia. One of the two plaintiffs in this case is 70 year old Pastor Bo Turner and he explains that he filed suit because of his belief that the display violates the separation of church and state. Pastor Turner is used to ruffling feathers and has spoken up on a number of issues he’s considered important and this has made him rather unpopular at times. This lawsuit has brought him a chilly reception by many and at least two death threats. A response that is unfortunately all too common which is why so many plaintiffs ask to remain anonymous in these cases.
But Turner has to say what he feels. He said it’s his duty as a Christian to speak out when he sees any injustice done and to try to help fix it any way he can.
Because he does believe one thing – he believes he’ll face a day of judgment.
And as his life on Earth faces its divine scrutiny, Turner doubts the questions will center around what he did.
Instead, Turner’s sure his God will want to know about all the things he didn’t.
Reading the profile on Pastor Turner left me impressed with his approach to his religious beliefs. Among other things he encourages his congregation to think for themselves rather than just blindly follow. For those so inclined, a little searching will net you lots of other separation lawsuits that were filed by Christians rather than atheists which puts the lie to this common misperception.
The reason folks like Robert Frey are so eager to promote the idea that these lawsuits are almost always filed by atheists who hate the Ten Commandments and what they supposedly stand for is rather simple: It’s hard to argue that there’s an anti-Christian motivation behind the lawsuit if the person filing it happens to be a Christian. It’s so much easier to paint atheists as being anti-Christian because most folks tend to think that’s the case already. It’s also easier to cast the argument as being an attack on Christianity rather than an issue of keeping the government unbiased in matters of religion. Folks like Frey are so eager to have government promote their ideological viewpoint as much as possible that they are willing to misrepresent the issue in order to achieve their goals. They engage in deceptive practices and deliberately ignore the facts for what they believe is the greater good of their cause.
This is called “lying” by most people and is referred to in the Ten Commandments as “bearing false witness.” The hypocrisy of violating one of the Ten Commandments in order to try and promote them should be pretty obvious to most reasonable people, Christian or not.