The Ten Commandments Monument
on the Texas Capitol Grounds

Assembled by Nathaniel Segal 2015
Ten Commandments Monument on the Texas Capitol Grounds
The Ten Commandments Monument
with the Capitol Building in the background

The Monument's Context

Since 1961, a granite monument depicting the Ten Commandments has stood on the Texas Capitol Grounds.  It was donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles and dedicated to "the People and Youth of Texas."

The Ten Commandments monument serves at least two secular purposes:

First, it was accepted from the Fraternal Order of Eagles for the purpose of commending their work with youth.

Second, the monument was placed on the Grounds for the purpose of acknowledging the Ten Commandments' historical impact on American and Texan law and culture.

(Paraphrased from Greg Abbott, who was the Attorney General for the State of Texas [in 2005].  Abbott defended a Ten Commandments monument standing on the Texas State Capitol grounds by arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 2, 2005, in the case Van Orden v. Perry [Texas Review of Law, pp. 234, 239].)

The Text of the Monument

the Ten Commandments
I am the L-rd thy G-d.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven images.
Thou shalt not take the Name of the L-rd thy G-d in vain

Notice that the commandments are not numbered. They contain the relevant gist of several Christian traditions as well as the gist of the Jewish tradition.

Ten Commandments on the grounds of the
        Texas State Capitol


Abbott, Greg. 2005. "Acknowledgement Without Endorsement: Defending the Ten Commandments." Texas Review of Law & Politics. 9, no. 2 (Spring 2005): 229-275. University of Texas at Austin School of Law Publications. Legal Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed June 24, 2013).
Brooklyn Daily Star. 1933. "Tortoise And Hare Motif By MacNeil, College Point Sculptor, Symbolizes Law In New Court Building At Washington." February 27, 1933, front page columns 6 and 7. Retrieved from  Dec 10, 2014.
Butowsky, Harry A. 1986. The U.S. Constitution: A National Historic Landmark Theme Study. On-line Book series. National Park Service - ParkNet. Page revised 2000. Retrieved from  June 22, 2013.
Gilbert Cass Society. "Cass Gilbert - the Architect - Works - United States Supreme Court, Washington, DC." Retrieved from  June 23, 2013.
Schaps, Mike. 2006. "Vagueness as a Virtue: Why the Supreme Court Decided the Ten Commandments Cases Inexactly Right." California Law Review. Vol. 94, no. 4 (July 2006): 1243-1269. Legal Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed June 24, 2013).

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