The Ten Commandments made the news in Nashville last year when state lawmakers voted to allow displays of God’s laws on courthouse lawns and the like.
But a new billboard is reminding Music City USA once again of those biblical standards for life.
The newest billboard is located at Harding Place and Antioch Boulevard in Nashville. It’s part of a nationwide effort to re-introduce Americans to the Ten Commandments and awaken both believers and non-believers to the evil that abounds in America.
The Ten Commandments appear under the headline “Thus Saith the Lord.”
The effort was launched by Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WND.com and WND Books, to place the Ten Commandments in front of more American eyes than ever before.
“The purpose is to remind the public of the moral law to which all people are accountable whether they like it or not – even the ACLU,” Farah said. “America needs a set of social common denominators if we are to remain a self-governing society.
Farah said no such document “has ever been produced by the hand of man.”
“For 3,000 years, empires have come and gone based on their adherence to the Ten Commandments,” he said. “Millions of people have perished or been brought to salvation by God’s teachings about right and wrong. That’s what this campaign is all about – and I pray Americans will respond in partnership with me in dramatic style.”
A year ago, Tennessee lawmakers voted 93-0 to authorize counties to erect monuments to God’s laws in courthouses or on their grounds.
It was only a few days later when Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold posted a copy of the Ten Commandments in his lobby.
Other Ten Commandments billboards have been placed in or near Long Beach, Calif.; Shubert, Pa.; Las Vegas; Nashville (earlier); Jacksonville, Fla.; Los Angeles; and Branson, Mo.
The display of the commandments, attacked by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, is not as common in American society as it once was. Prominent figures such as cable news king Ted Turner have flatly declared that the Ten Commandments were outdated.
“I bet nobody here even pays much attention to ‘em, because they are too old,” he told members of the National Newspaper Association.
“Today the commandments wouldn’t go over. Nobody around likes to be commanded. Commandments are out,” said Turner, who also called Christianity a “religion for losers.”
Turner offered, instead of God’s laws, his own rules, called “The Ten Voluntary Initiatives.”
He later apologized.
Farah also pointed to a recent failure by the ACLU to remove the Ten Commandments from a courthouse in Dixie County, Fla.
Senior U.S. District Judge Maurice M. Paul dismissed the case when an anonymous North Carolina man who complained about the message didn’t move to the county.
Liberty Counsel attorney Harry Mihet said, “We went from an order that ‘the monument goes and you have to pay $130,000 to the ACLU’ to ‘the monument stays, and the ACLU has to pay a total of $3,600.’”
The five-foot-tall 12,000-pound monument was erected at the top of the courthouse steps in 2006 after Joe Anderson Jr., chairman and founder of Lake City-based road builder Anderson Columbia, purchased it for $20,000. He has not only funded several other Ten Commandments monuments in Florida but also a “revival” mobile display. It’s parked somewhere until legal threats arise, and then it takes off down the road.
Here’s the sign in Long Beach, Calif.:
In Shubert, Pa.:
In Branson, Mo.:
The message in Lynwood, Calif., near Los Angeles:
In Jacksonville, Fla.:
An earlier Nashville sign:
In Las Vegas:
See the video about the effort:
Farah said America's spiritual problem is not limited to atheists, agnostics, cults and non-believers."
"In fact, the biggest problem America has is with those who call themselves believers but who act no differently than the worldliest individuals on the planet," he said. "You can call these people backslidden. You can call them false converts. Or you can call them undiscipled, nominal believers. What they all have in common is they are not in obedience to God. They are not even trying to follow the most basic moral law, as Jesus and the prophets all instructed."
America has never needed a campaign like this so badly, he said.
"The Ten Commandments have been banished from our schools," said Farah. "They've been banished from our courtrooms and law schools. They've even been banished from some of our churches and synagogues. Look what has become of America since. Maybe it's time to roll them out on highways and byways, in big cities and small towns so no one is without excuse as to the moral code the One True God gave us to govern ourselves."
Farah and WND are providing seed money for the launch and publicity and hope that Jews and Christians alike will donate money to the campaign to erect the messages on public billboards from coast to coast.
"I don't know what the result will be," said Farah. "But I know America badly needs a reminder of who guides the universe and the affairs of men and what He requires of us all. Americans need awareness of their sins before they can repent of them. And until we repent of our sins, America's fate has been cast to the wind. America needs the Ten Commandments."
You can donate to the campaign online at the WND Superstore or write checks to WND with a notation "Ten Commandments campaign." Checks can be sent to WND.com Inc., 2020 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Suite 351, Washington, D.C. 20006.
If you'd like to learn how to sponsor a billboard in your community, email TenCommandments@wnd.com.
"If you're concerned about the future of America, heed God's word in II Chronicles 7:14," said Farah: "It says, 'If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.' But if we don't understand our sin, which is defined by the Ten Commandments, how can we turn from our wicked ways? And how will God hear us? And how will He heal our land?"
Farah believes the Ten Commandments are the glue that hold society together. If they are forgotten, dismissed or ignored, America will cease being a self-governing nation, as its Founding Fathers intended.
Listen to what others have said and written about the Ten Commandments:
- "The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount contain my religion." – John Adams
- "If God would have wanted us to live in a permissive society He would have given us Ten Suggestions and not Ten Commandments." – Zig Ziglar
- "We might come closer to balancing the budget if all of us lived closer to the Commandments and the Golden Rule." – Ronald Reagan
- "One of the great questions of philosophy is, do we innately have morality, or do we get it from celestial dictation? A study of the Ten Commandments is a very good way of getting into and resolving that issue." – Christopher Hitchens (noted atheist)
- "The Ten Commandments are the divinely revealed law." – Roy Moore
- "Congress should pass legislation to remove from the federal courts their jurisdiction to hear these outrageous challenges to the Ten Commandments and the Pledge of Allegiance." – Phyllis Schlafly
- "Man has made 32 million laws since the Commandments were handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai ... but he has never improved on God's law." – Cecil B. DeMille
- "I believe if more American children read the Ten Commandments and are taught what they mean, they will predictably engage in less crime." – Gary Bauer