Bloomfield, New Mexico, fought a legal battle for six years to put a 10 Commandments tablet outside a municipal building. Now the bill is coming due, and it’s a whopper. Remind you of anything?

Thanks to Blue Hog Report for guiding me to the article on Patheos

The monument was put up for religious reasons in 2011, then ruled unconstitutional (obviously) by multiple courts. Instead of accepting that result, city officials were goaded by the Christian Right into fighting back. The ACLU warned them not to do it since the law was very clear on this topic… but they didn’t listen. Eventually, they ran out of appeals and owed the ACLU $700,000.

Why is that relevant now? Because city officials just released a new proposed budget and you can’t miss the giant payment to the ACLU.

You will note the resemblance between the unconstitutional monument in New Mexico and the second installation of a similar tablet on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol. You may note, too, the resemblance of constitutional arguments that prevailed in New Mexico against those raised in two suits filed (so far) in Arkansas over Bro. Jason Rapert’s monument.


Oh, but Bro. Jason and Bro. Kim Hammer, another preacher/legislator who sponsored the tribute to the Christian religion, say it’s about the law, not religion. Their own words and those of many others suggest, what’s the phrase? False witness?

The New Mexico city was encouraged by right-wing religious groups to keep fighting. The attorney general of Arkansas apparently has plenty of time to defend state establishment of religion, judging by her far-flung lawsuits on pet causes of the Republian Right. But there is a reckoning some day, as Bloomfield learned.