Costly ErrorJuly 30, 2010
Bruce Prescott noted in an Ethics Daily column today the costly consequences of not following the First Amendment's promise of religious liberty rights. Haskell County in Oklahoma lost a lawsuit over a Ten Commandments monument that County officials erected on the County courthouse lawn in 2004. As a result of the settlement, the County (via the citizens) will have to pay $199,000 over the next ten years. Prescott argued that if the County leaders--many of whom are Baptist--had followed the historic principle of separation of church and state that Baptists originally fought for, then this money would not have been wasted. He added:
This nation was the first nation in world history that was not founded on religious authority. It was founded on the consent of the governed. We have a government that is of the people, by the people and for the people, because every person in our society - no matter what their faith or lack of it - has an equal right to justice and liberty.Amen! Religious liberty makes our nation better--and apparently can also save county governments some money!