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The Ten Commandments came out of a culture that didn't know where the sun went at night. A culture that convinced itself they were the chosen people of an invisible man in the sky who will sometimes grant wishes if one just begs hard enough. A culture that managed to convince itself they were operating under divine sanctions to justify the many horrors they were responsible for. Today's religious right isn't a whole lot more perceptive, and they always seem to assume everything will have a happy ending if they can just impose their religion on others. Entrusting our civil liberties to the Christian Nationalists would be the definition of insanity.

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This particular version of the Ten Commandments, which Ventrella insists are 'historical' actually came from promotional material for Cecil B. DeMille's movie 'The Ten Commandments' and the text was produced and distributed by the Fraternal Order of Eagles. It was a Hollywood stunt to promote a movie. Ventrella might look down her nose at California, but that dolt is pushing Hollywood promotional material as 'historic religious text.' No wonder Louisiana bobs along the bottom of least educated states in the country.

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+++

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When the red, red goblin goes bob-bob-bobblin' along.....

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I recommend watching The Ten Commandments. As a typical overblown biblical epic of its era, it's unintentionally hilarious, and Heston's Moses is a hoot in some of the early scenes. For example, when a group of young Hebrew women ask him if it's true that Egyptian woman "paint their eyes," his PUA-worthy reply will make your eyeballs roll like slot machines.

But seriously, rent the movie and fast-forward to the scene where the Big Guy is etching His Commandments onto the stone tablets via a shimmering lightning bolt or something - in KJV English, in perfect modern typeface, while a booming, echoing voice off-screen reads them aloud. I guaran-goddamn-tee you, if you don't slide off the couch laughing, there ain't a cow in Texas

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But, I am sorry to say that I am afraid she is right about one thing. I think 5 of the Supremes will be fishing around in Alito's ass to come up with some sort of precedent to force that set of 10 commandments onto classroom walls across the country. (There is another set they do not like to talk about).

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The one that talks about cooking goats, hanging out in a hut on a holiday, and not wearing linen and cotton blend shirts? That one? Oooooh, I'd love to see somebody post *that* "Ten Commandments" (actually 11 or 12) on classroom walls!

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Jun 22·edited Jun 22

I spent time yesterday reading some Christian apologetics that tried to explain away the “other” 10 commandments. Inventive, as one might expect.

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Yes, rules about cooking goats are so important to the morals of our children! But really, the one about the Sabbath should get lots of support from parents because it means no possibility of school activities, sports clubs, homework etc. on Sunday. That pesky science fair project will just have to wait!

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What science fair project? These ignoramuses will do away with science itself.

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Since the majority of justices are Roman Catholic, perhaps they will object to the King James Version used in Louisiana. They might make a few using the Douay- Rheims version, just in case.

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It would be pretty damn funny if one of the Catholics asked during oral argument why the commandments were numbered incorrectly.

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This is all about imposing some version of christianity on the whole population.

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Dollar bill! The movie! Shut up!

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?

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Legal arguments from a lawyer

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How the fabricated mythology, promulgated by a bunch of ignorant, iron-age goatherds, is still a "thing", never ceases to amaze me.

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Once that reality is recognized, the mess this world is becomes easier to understand.

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Much less what the sun is made of. 😁

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Pfff, everyone knows its made of cheddar.

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Well, the moon is Stilton, so.....

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Very well said!!

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Thinking that they are anything but opportunistic morally bankrupt tools is an error. Sadly, they do directly affect policy decisions, but are nothing but a front for the corporate donor class despots

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I'm always at a loss to decide what's higher, these bozos' ignorance, stupidity, or dishonesty.

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I think you're talking about a photo finish, as it comes to those three.

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Their malevolence.

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You beat me to this comment by an hour. Like you, I am genuinely curious what it could be.

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All of the above.

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Thank you for this article, but this was one of your most painful to date to get through. How can anybody respect these morons like Ted Crocket and Lauren Ventrella? But you answer this question so well by referring to them coming off as preaching a Sunday sermon. I know, because I sat through thousands of these sermons every Sunday as a Southern Baptist. You accept everything you’re told and you don’t ask questions. This is how we got into this mess in this country in the first place - blind, unwavering, unquestioning faith in Christian leaders. Well, I started asking questions at a young age and now I am an atheist. Maybe, that’s why you don’t ask questions, because all of their arguments and beliefs quickly fall apart to anybody that thinks critically.

I am a scientist. I am an atheist. I believe in the ever evolving evidence our world and our minds provide us. I don’t think I was ever wired to believe in an invisible, mythical god. Wouldn’t there be some proof of this being in the thousands of years humans have been around? My mind cannot compute, and I wonder if there was ever a study comparing the brains of atheists and religious people?

I know studies show that the brains of conservatives have less gray matter and larger amygdalas (the fear center) than liberals. I would hypothesize that these studies would correlate well with my hypothesis. Christians do not like hypotheticals or “gray” areas. Just look at how Ventrella acts when presented with a hypothetical. She melts down.

Oh, and Crockett’s face when Tapper tells him that something he absolutely knows to be true is not. He can’t handle it. As an Alabamian and previous Southern Baptist, Crockett’s look of disbelief is one I know all too well. I have seen the same look so often on the faces of my friends and family.

Their interviews encompass everything that is wrong with this country right now. Like you said, when anyone objects to their Christian nationalism, they say ignore it, but yet they cannot for one second ignore anything or anyone that doesn’t fall into their narrow, contradictory moral purview. The blinding light of their proud ignorance and hypocrisy makes me gag a little in my mouth every time I hear and see it. Unfortunately, the members of their cult have closed their ears and eyes, so the truth is irrelevant to them.

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Nobody is wired to believe in an invisible, mythical god. You have to be groomed from childhood.

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I don’t know if this is true however. I was groomed, but it never took. I have pretended for most of my life to believe, because I knew my family would not accept me as an atheist. I was also forced to attend church as a child up through high school. I was so incredibly right too, unfortunately. I’m treated like I have a deadly contagious disease that they may catch if they get too close. I’ve learned to be comfortable in my black sheep’s clothing over the years.

That’s why I proposed a study looking at MRIs of the brains of babies before they are groomed or not groomed. Then follow these children until they’re adults repeating MRIs every five years until age 18. Along with the MRIs, the families of these children would also need to be followed looking at their religious proclivities. We could measure the gray matter, size of the frontal lobe, the amygdala, and so on. How much is nature versus nurture? Of course, this brings up questionable ethics of exposing children to the minor harmful effects of MRIs and sedation.

I never believed, but I believed I had to pretend in order to be a part of my family. Likewise, are conservatives born with less gray matter and larger amygdalas? Or, does their environment alter them? Are they predisposed to be more susceptible to grooming/cultish behaviors, because their brains have less gray matter and larger amygdalas at birth? I guess I’m looking for a scientific reason to explain these people’s behavior. 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

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Thanks Zorginipsoundsor for such an interesting study. Theoretically, brain damage, whether by genetics, injury, or environment, definitely helps explain Christian nationalist’s behavior and their lack of cognitive flexibility. Honestly, after watching years of Trump and his sycophants, and Ventrella’s and Crockett’s interviews, I think most of us do not need a study to see they are brain damaged!

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I have five different brain damage incidents and can't work neither full weeks or full days because of that. Still I ain't damaged enough to buy the creation/god myth.

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According to the study posted above, it was very specific areas of the brain the researchers identified, such as the central and ventromedial areas of the pre-frontal cortex.

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Not everybody groomed end up xian. What I tried to say is that most people that end up as one or other brand of xianity has been groomed for it since childhood. I remember reading about it a few years back. I'll try to find it.

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Epigenetic’s.

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This⬆️

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Sorry, grew up secular, ended Pagan in my mid twenties 😊

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This group has helped me significantly with my deprogramming and detoxification from my childhood programming. One of my earliest memories is singing "Jesus Loves Me" and "Stand up, stand up for Jesus (Ye soldiers of the cross)" every night before I went to sleep.

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Dunno, there are the remains of Bronze Age dwellings on the welsh hills above my house by the sea.. As I walk there, I think of the unbelievably harsh conditions under which folk lived. One storm, one drought, one season when the fish you caught and dried and relied on for winter food didn't come inshore, and you perished. They must have looked at that oncoming storm and wondered at its power, there must be 'someone' or 'something' out there whose anger needed appeasing. So they maybe sacrificed some of those fish, or their one cow.....and if it didn't stop.....then a virgin maybe. And decreed that the whole village do so till the rain stopped!

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From the crib.

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Like you I started asking questions at very young age and walked away from religion at age 10. I’m not a scientist but my degrees are in math and science along with 27 units I psychology—OK I get psych is considered a science but my undergrad degree is Chemistry with minor of 27 in math. Graduate degree in Decision Science.

Religion is neither rational nor supported by anything other than mythology.

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Yes, I have an undergrad degree in biochemistry and a doctorate in pharmacy. I believe, to some extent, that education can be an inoculation to radicalization. Of course, the wrong type of education can lead in the opposite direction.

Most of my family is uneducated and raised in the SBC. They are rural, unworldly, and radicalized in the church. They find my education suspicious, and possibly evil, because they blame it for my atheism. I do have to take the blame for this belief, because I did not present as an atheist until I was in my 40s due to fear of exile. BUT, no one who really knew me all of my life would have ever said I was a “true Christian.” I was not very good at faking it. Like always, they have to blame something, other than themselves, so they choose to blame my college education.

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I understand where you are coming from. My issues are often a little more nuanced as I deal with people that think they are making good decisions based upon probability. Yet, their probabilities are often based upon their logic and not on data. However for some problems this may be reasonable.

My graduate degree is in Decision Science so I’m much more Bayesian than they are recognizing that decisions MUST consider the consequences if one’s prior probabilities are wrong.

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Yes, if you base your decisions on flawed data and flawed logic (thank you for teaching me the term Bayesian), much like Christian nationalists do, then you will continue to arrive at the wrong conclusions. Believing that America is a “Christian” nation, believing that America was founded by Christians, and believing the Constitution is a Christian document, is using false data and false logic. Yet, when they are presented with evidence that they are wrong, they persevere in their illogical beliefs because this threatens the very essence of who they are and all they represent.

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Your last sentence is spot on. I like to pose to people who try to talk religion to me:

pretend the bible never existed and someone gave you a copy today - what would you think? Pretty sure people would roll their eyes and file it on the bookshelf next to their Greek mythology books.

Suppose someone claimed their grandpa rose 3 days after being buried and floated up to the sky, would anyone believe them? No

Suppose a 17 year old female told her parents she was pregnant but never had sex, would they think the second Messiah had arrived? No, they would call her a liar. Suppose a man in Oklahoma claimed god spoke to him last night telling him to build a massive boat - with the Christians believe him? No, they would think he was crazy.

The list of ridiculous fables they believe from 2,000+ years ago is mind-boggling, but yet if these fables were brought up as brand new today they would reject them. Religions and "sacred texts" written by mentally ill delusional men have been the most egregious crimes against humanity.

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I have also wondered if there is some correlation between belief and non-belief in brain structure given my background in Psychology but I am not aware of any definitive research. However, I have known "true believers" as described by Hoffer and have noticed that they can be liberal as well as conservative. I've also encountered evangelical atheists who were just as fervent as their religious counterparts and just as unable to see things from a different perspective. True believers think that the world must conform to their understanding of reality no matter how many people they have to toss under the bus to achieve their perfect world. Fiascos like what's happening in Louisiana do have one redeeming feature. That is, it makes it absolutely clear what WCNs will do once they get into power.

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But true believers, both liberal and conservative, share the same inability to see other’s perspectives and operate from a place of fear. I find this fascinating from a scientific perspective. I am a pharmacist, not psychologist, however.

After seeing what is happening with Trump, the GOP, and Christian nationalists in our country, I can’t help but wonder why I am not a part of this cult? For all intents and purposes, I should be.

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Jun 22·edited Jun 22

In James Madison's time, the fight was against a christian majority in the VA legislature led by Patrick Henry, who were trying to pass a bill mandating that all taxpayers, regardless of their personal beliefs, be required to pay Anglican teachers. Madison addressed the very issue that Ventrella elided in her interview with Boris Sanchez, namely the tyranny of the majority: "We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no mans right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority."

It was because the Founders were well aware of the tyranny of religious establishments, including against non-favored christian sects, that Madison wrote: "Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment with our liberties.....The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle...Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease establish any particular sect of Christians?" ---Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, June 1785

It's interesting that here we are, in June 2024, having to fight the same fight all over again. But we need to join this fight, and we need to win. Otherwise, today's christian nationalists will 'trespass on the rights" of everyone, believers and non-believers alike.

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Thank you Jane for this historical refresher. As time goes on I forget much of what I once learned but you and people like you help restore the forgotten information.

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You're very kind, Jim. I cop to being an American history geek. But it comes in handy to know this nation's history when christian nationalist movements rise up again.

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I appreciate it too. Not knowing which sources* are reliable is an hindrance. I got conned by misleading books (teasers ?) on periods I studied in the past.

* david farton automically excluded.

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Jun 22·edited Jun 22

I always look at the author blurbs before I read a book. I want to know if I'd be reading straight up history or historical spin. David Barton is a conman and an evangelical grifter. He's not a historian, he's a fraud. His book on Jefferson was so riddled with errors the publisher pulled it.

FYI, the information I cited on John Jay comes from the archives of The John Jay Homestead.

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I got conned twice by a book on jesus* and one on Gobekli Tepe**. As I said both blurbs were misleading.

* Presented as an historical account as how Jesus was created and why, actually was an apologist book 🤬

* Nearly impossible to find anything in English and French at that time, and I don't speak German.

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On the Jesus thing, I would recommend "How Jesus Became God" by Bart Ehrman.

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Warum nicht?😜

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Problem seems to me MAGAs don’t give a damn about historical facts as clearly demonstrated by their delusion that this country was formed as a Christian country.

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Agreed, but SCOTUS has decided that 'history and tradition' are new basis for deciding anything, so it's in our interests to know what our history really is.

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𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑜𝑛 𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑔𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑓𝑠 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑡𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑖𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑖𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑜𝑢𝑠.

-- Michael Nugent, 2009 CFI Blasphemy Contest

And by the same token, the reason that Ventrella was unable to provide a sensible defense for the 10 Commandments bill is because THERE IS NONE. She thinks that an argument from popularity or tradition fill the bill when they clearly don't. She clearly had no answer to the proposal to include similar displays from Islam, nor I suspect was she aware of the relatively recent insertion of IGWT on our currency. All she knew was that she wanted the 10 Commandments in the classroom and that was all the justification she thought was needed.

What's even more obvious is that Ventrella had NO IDEA about the legal precedents, in Kentucky and Texas, if I recall correctly, where such bills were struck down as unconstitutional. Doubtless she cares little that a court fight on this matter will coast Louisiana monies which could be better spent elsewhere. Her insistence on the 10 Cs strikes me as bordering on obsession.

And that's not healthy for her OR the Pelican State.

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You make an excellent point about the millions of dollars that the tax payers of Louisiana will have to pay to fight all the lawsuits that will result from this new Christian nationalist bill. Louisiana is hanging down in the bottom fifty usually neck and neck with Alabama for worst state in the country for healthcare, economic growth, poverty, education, et al. Once again, a Christian nationalist attempt to “save their country” will result in a far more damaging outcome than if they would have just left well enough alone. Their “just ignore it” motto will be their self-destruction, but will it also be the destruction of our democracy? Will willful ignorance be the death of America? I don’t believe so, but it will take many generations to undo the harm they have caused. We will fix the problems that have been so blatantly exposed by them in our country, and we will come out the other side a better America for it.

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They don't care because they will shift the money needed from programs like education, school lunch and CHIP. Neutering these things are also a priority to these enemies of democracy and humanity.

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It will cost them more than giving lunch to kids this summer.

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One sincerely hopes. Problem is that the state will likely pay the fines and court costs. If it hit these bozos in their own wallets, I think the overall outcome would be considerably different!

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Hmmmm, Ventrella is a lawyer who never studied constitutional law? Give me Jamie Raskin any day of the week.

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I would have thought having college credits in constitutional law would be mandatory.

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I remind you that there are YEC with degrees in biology.

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And ? Did they got it without studying genetics ?

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They studied genetics the way some people study Star Trek ‘science’. As fiction with a little bit of fact.

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From Bob Jones U., or Liberty U.

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I believe it is during their first year, at most schools anyway. US News & world Report ranked Southern University 178 out of 196. Maybe that explains it.

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Fully accredited by the Church of the Leaky Marble Baptismal Font. Where gawd has proclaimed it will get around to sealing it one of these centuries.

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Historical demographics were mandatory for my major. Imagine having to pick data from bad copies made on old 18th century churches ledgers 🤣🤣🤣

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"When CNN host Boris Sanchez pointed out that the Constitution is secular and doesn’t include “God” or “Jesus” or “Christianity,” Ventrella sidestepped the issue...."

Of course, she did. It brings CNs like her face-to-face with the fact that regardless of their personal religious beliefs, the Framers of the Constitution gave us an entirely secular government. And they did that on purpose. They KNEW, some of them from personal experience, about the persecution visited on members of the non-established church, the religious minorities of their day.

John Jay, one of the authors of the Federalist Papers and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was a staunchly religious man. But he was just as staunch an advocate for separation of church and state. Why? Because of his own family's history. His paternal great grandfather was a French protestant, a Huguenot, who lost is family fortune and was forced to move his family, in secret, to England because he refused to become a catholic after Edict of Nantes was revoked and France was once again a Catholic country. The Jay family eventually landed in New York, and John Jay remained dead set against any government-religion entanglements throughout his life.

Unlike today's republicans, the Founders were serious people who didn't do anything without a good reason. That includes writing the Establishment Clause into the First Amendment. The knew that the only way to protect the unalienable rights of conscience of every citizen was to have a secular government.

FTR, this attack on the Establishment Clause in Louisiana shouldn't just alarm atheists, agnostics and nones. No other religious group, including the wide variety of christian sects, will be safe from christian nationalists, either. We ALL have a stake in seeing this movement driven into the ground.

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This is why we need a basic course in grade school teaching logic. Simply giving the kids an exercise where they watch interviews with politicians to find such things as; ad hominem attacks, argument from authority, red herring, avoiding the question, and straw man, all of which are available in those interviews with a lawyer who should be an embarrassment to the law program at LA state would be enough to get most children to think for themselves.

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She 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 have answered the questions. She chose not to. The reason? 1. She knew that there was no way to show the bill would pass constitutional muster. 2. Anything answer she would have given regarding other religious displays would have forced her to say the quiet part out loud: that Ventrella and people like her want Christianity to be mandatory and all other religions viewpoints illegal.

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Or maybe she's just an idiot who couldn't have answered any of those questions anyway. That does tend to be the case when these people have never once stepped outside their bubble. People who are different from them simply don't exist.

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Oy, this is so utterly embarrassing. I'm Jewish and most Jews, even religious ones, don't necessarily consider the Ten Commandments appropriate primary school material- in part because, uh, there are a LOT of commandments, and in part because yeah, kindergarten & the lower grades are not the place to bring up adultery or murder out of the blue for funsies.

Even if I were religious, or Christian, this would be an obvious power grab by Christian nationalists and Ventrella's refusal to answer basic questions like whether she would consider posting the equivalent in Judaism or Islam is as transparent an attempt to duck responsibility as a three-year-old with chocolate on their face telling you they didn't eat the candy they weren't supposed to get into. Wherever she graduated from law school clearly did her a disservice by failing to give her the education to go with it.

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Props for this comment and your name

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Remember she is from Lousyana. Knowledge is sparse in the swamps.

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I opt for the most obviously answer. She is a lying christain.

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OT, but I’m sure you are all wondering.

Tonight’s performance has been cancelled because there is a tornado warning. So, only one show left to go, tomorrow at 2.

Yesterday’s performance was a hit and I got a great response to my Philostrate.

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Stay safe! Congrats are secondary.

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Brava!!! 🥳🥳🥳

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These are same "godly" folks who falsely accuse others of the very grooming they are actively attempting to do or ARE doing themselves.

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Again their motto of "Do as I say, not as do" rears its ugly kkkrister head.

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Let's have some fun, shall we ?

As the frieze point out, Narmer*/Hor-Aha* lived long before Moses, and he was not a fictional character. So do you want to know what was legal in Egypt for most it's recorded history ? Divorce, contraception, abortion.

"Ventrella is a lawyer by trade."

alinea baba**, sydney don't do well, lindsey hooligan...

"the right-wing super-majority will find, somewhere in the deepest sections of their asses"

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

* Pet peeve of mine, I don't like using Greek names for Pharaohs.

** another slang word for stupid.

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The fact that she is a lawyer just demonstrates that she is practiced in evading direct questions.

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That’s what I thought.

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If Ventrella is "a lawyer by trade," then she's a piss-poor one, not to know the precedents this bill/law is up against. Yeah, yeah, I know: it's more virtue-signaling than anything else.

But virtue-signaling in a courtroom is expensive, and that's something that should be pointed out REPEATEDLY.

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It’s nice to know that Louisiana has solved all of its infrastructure, criminal justice and social problems so that it can now dedicate its tax dollars to lawyers defending the critical issue of posting the KJV version of the Ten Commandments in all those well funded public schools!

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Little wonder they've been the bottom-ranked state in the US for years.

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/S

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Christians have as much disdain for the truth as Donald Trump and FOX News.

But their religion was built on a lie, so it really comes as no surprise.

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Jun 22·edited Jun 22

To Lauren Ventrella and all other NatCs...

Are any of you Orthodox Jewish? Any at all? Then the "Ten Commandments" don't apply to you. They are for the Chosen People alone. Oh, and here's another blow to your nethers: Jesus came for the Chosen People, not Gentiles. He compared Gentiles to "dogs." The only humans that will occupy heaven are 144,000 virgin Jewish males from the 12 tribes of Israel with the mark of their god on their foreheads.

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