Georgia's poverty rate has risen rapidly since 2008, and by 2010 it reached the highest since 1983, making it the third poorest state.
So, what's the Georgia legislature doing about this?
It's working hard to get the Ten Commandments posted in all public buildings, including schools. The House has already passed the bill unanimously. If it passes the senate, Georgia will waste more time and money on these displays, while many of its citizens continue to face home and job losses.
Republican Tommy Benton told the Atlanta Journal the action is "appropriate" because the US "has a lot of laws based on" these commandments. But Christian minister Barry Lynn says, basically, it's all a bunch of bull, "raising a red flag that says, 'Sue us.'"
Aside from ignoring religious freedoms, ironically Benton's bill is turning the Commandments into icon worship, something this set of laws expressly forbids.
Tell Georgia to stop wasting money on religious icons and take care of its poor.
We, the undersigned, do not understand why you'd waste precious taxpayer money, as well as the legislature's time, not to mention violating religious freedoms, so you can spend more time and money on displaying a religious icon in public buildings.
We ask that you imagine you are archeologists in the future, discovering this society, and you find left behind the overwhelming evidence of poverty. You also find on building walls these public displays, these icons of Judeo-Christianity.
Would you not see the blatant contradiction between these two discoveries, while sadly digging up evidence of children with rotting teeth, adults with diseased and broken bodies and other signs of human misery, along with proof of polluted food, air and water?
Would you conclude that this was a society that had lived according to Christian principles or rather a place of pomposity, hypocrisy and ignorance, filled with vain displays of idol worship?
If you had to choose between the two outcomes, which would you prefer that someone from the future discover about your state?
We would ask you to choose that outcome now.
Not only is your proposal to place these displays in public buildings costly and unnecessary, it violates your citizens' Constitutional Rights to equal protection under the law. Furthermore, we agree with the Christian minister with Americans United For Separation of Church and State who says the Ten Commandments are not, in fact, the basis for our nation's laws. He points out that "We don't make it illegal to dishonor our mother and father. We don't have blasphemy laws." Nor do we have laws against adultry or coveting. Apparently we don't make it illegal to place idols or icons before love of others, either.
We ask, instead of this pointless waste of time and money, that you consider making laws that will actually address the spirit of the religion you profess, which says the greatest laws include love of your neighbors. And you can't love your neighbors and ignore their poverty at the same time.
Thank you for considering these perspectives. Please stop wasting money on useless displays of self-righteousness and icon worship, and instead do something to effectively improve the lives of your citizens.