Arkansas State Senator Behind Ten Commandments Monument Dismisses Debate Challenge from Satanist July 9, 2015

Arkansas State Senator Behind Ten Commandments Monument Dismisses Debate Challenge from Satanist

Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert is the politician who filed a bill — now a law — to install a Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds. He’s still supporting his bill even though a similar monument was just declared illegal in Oklahoma.

Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma (via James Nimmo)

Now that The Satanic Temple is trying to install its own monument in Arkansas, along with several other groups, there’s a lot of talk about whether or not that’ll be allowed.

[The Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien] Greaves — who said he welcomes a public debate with Rapert over the constitutional questions surrounding the Ten Commandments monument — said his group has members in Arkansas and is working with supporters to get the process rolling.

It’s that part about a debate that seems to have gotten under Rapert’s skin. He has no intention of debating the constitutionality of his monument. Probably because even he knows what he’s doing is illegal.

He wrote this on Facebook last night:

My response: The Devil is a liar — why would I want to debate anyone who worships a liar?

As Jesus boldly declared, “Get thee behind me Satan.”

Though the Ten Commandments Monument has nothing whatsoever to do with endorsing any “religion” but rather our choice to honor the historical moral foundation of law which has contributed to American Jurisprudence, these fringe groups absolutely hate anything that is recorded in the Bible.

To paraphrase: Why would I want to debate someone who will expose my lies? And the Ten Commandments aren’t biblical! Even though the only place you’ll find them is in the Bible.

No wonder he doesn’t want to debate Greaves. If this is the sort of statement he makes when he time to think about it, how awful are his arguments going to be when he’s on the spot?

(Note to Rapert: Greaves doesn’t actually worship the devil. You would know this if you bothered to do about two seconds of research.)

I asked Greaves how he’d respond to Rapert and he told me this:

Setting aside the fact that The Satanic Temple is non-theistic — worshipping no God or gods, and eschewing supernaturalism — Rapert’s question is still puzzling and unclear. Is he saying he will not debate me because I am steeped in lies? Is this not, in fact, the best reason to debate somebody — to shine the light of truth upon lies and/or misinformation?

The idea that such a debate would give me undue publicity is also clearly ludicrous. Nearly every news outlet in Arkansas has already written of The Satanic Temple’s possible monument bid. Sen. Rapert already openly argues against the legitimacy of our claims. If the Senator is truly confident in the accuracy of his constitutional interpretation and the faultiness of my own position, he should gladly welcome the opportunity to correct me publicly, for I am not alone in my convictions.

To willfully turn one’s back on questions of such fundamental significance, when put to the question, and as today’s answers to these questions will shape the future for generations to come, is enormously irresponsible and contemptible. It’s simply difficult to believe that the good Senator could truly be as spineless and as craven as that.

Huh. I find that pretty easy to believe…

A better politician wouldn’t shy away from what, in his mind, ought to be an easy victory. He’d get publicity, attention for his Christian monument, and the joy of crushing someone who disagrees with him. The only reason to avoid it is because even Rapert knows he’s wrong. He’s just shielding himself with Bible verses hoping no one will notice.

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