By Tia Lynn Ivey
Morgan County Courthouse will soon display The 10 Commandments, and other historical documents. The Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce raised the $1,200 to purchase the nine-piece set, which includes The Ten Commandments, The Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Georgia Constitution, Lady Justice, The Magna-Carta, The Mayflower Compact, The National Motto, and The Star Spangled Banner.
“We thank the Chamber of Commerce for taking this on,” said County Commissioner Chairman Philipp Von Hanstein. “There was no taxpayer money used to make this purchase.”
U.S. Congressman Jody Hice will unveil the new “Foundation of American Law and Government” display on Tuesday, Mar. 17 at a special dedication ceremony at the Morgan County Courthouse at 9 a.m.
“Eight years ago, I was privileged to stand with Governor Nathan Deal as he signed the law permitting this collection of historical documents to be displayed in any public building in Georgia,” said Congressman Hice. “It was the culmination of the work I undertook as a private citizen long before I became a Member of Congress, and it gives me great pleasure to participate in the dedication ceremony of this important display in Madison. I invite everyone to join me at the Morgan County Courthouse to celebrate the founding documents of American Constitutional law.”
According to a press release, “The Foundations of American Law & Government display contains documents that played a significant role in the establishment of our system of law and government, including the Ten Commandments, Mayflower Compact, and Declaration of Independence.”
Hice founded Ten Commandments Georgia, Inc., a group that pushes for Georgia counties to display the 10 Commandments, and other historical documents, in public spaces.
“We want to restore the moral character of our state and nation,” said Lynda Brown, a representative from Ten Commandments Georgia, Inc. “What beliefs will guide America into the future? What kind of nation will our children and grandchildren inherit?”
Brown argues that the country is forgetting its “Judeo-Christian heritage” and needs to make a public statement to promote the “religious foundation” of America.
According to the website, “Our all encompassing goal is to see in our day a restoration of a common moral code based upon God’s laws, The Ten Commandments. A restoration that will make our families happier, our neighborhood safer, and our government more just…Ten Commandments-Georgia, INC is a non-profit, grassroots organization committed to the task of locating, educating, and motivating citizens to acknowledge God through knowing, obeying, and displaying the Ten Commandments thereby, restoring a common moral code based upon God’s laws and the founding philosophy of our country. To educate Georgians by distributing a copy of the Ten Commandments to every home in the state, encouraging the public display of historical documents that inform citizens of our country’s biblical heritage and by communicating to citizens the importance of their First Amendment rights.
To locate a person in every county of the state who would serve as a Ten Commandments Georgia Representative. These representatives will serve as contact persons who will facilitate the work of TC-Ga in that particular area.”
While displaying religious documents in public buildings has proved controversial across the country, former Governor Nathan Deal signed an amendment to Georgia’s Historical Display law in 2012, allowing for historical documents, including the Ten Commandments, to be displayed in all public buildings.