By Tia Lynn Ivey
State and County leaders unveiled a set of historical documents on display at the Morgan County Superior Courthouse Tuesday morning.
Georgia Congressman Jody Hice and State Representative Dave Belton joined the Morgan County Board of Commissioners and the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce for an early morning celebration and presentation on the history of the nine documents on display, which include the Ten Commandments, the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence.
Hice unveiled the new “Foundation of American Law and Government” display Tuesday morning.
“If you break it all down, it tells as a nation to respect God and respect one another,” said Hice. “And if there is ever a time we need that as a nation, it is now.”
When Hice was serving as a pastor, he began the initiative to have the Ten Commandments, along with other historical documents, displayed in Barrow County, Ga.
The move led to a legal battle with the ACLU for years. It wasn’t until 2012 when Governor Nathan Deal signed into law that these nine historical documents, including the Ten Commandments could be posted in any public building in Georgia.
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.
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Ten Commandments Georgia, Inc., a group that pushes for Georgia counties to display the 10 Commandments, and other historical documents, in public spaces.
According to Hice, about a third of counties in Georgia now purchased “The Foundations of American Law & Government” set to display.
“Over a third of counties in the state have these now,” said Hice. “And it’s growing. These documents acknowledge the historical significance of where we have come from as a nation.
Lynda Brown, a member of Ten Commandments Georgia, Inc., spoke at the unveiling about the history and timeline of the documents now hanging in the halls of the Morgan County Courthouse.
According to Brown, the historical document set represent “the story of freedom.”
“The Ten Commandments are the cornerstone of moral justice and freedom,” said Brown. “The rest show man’s struggle for freedom—not the freedom to do anything you want, but the freedom to be self-governed under God.”
According to the the Ten Commandments Georgia 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.”