Leader Blues

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

TOP STORY >> Commands on scoreboard?


The scoreboard at the Cabot High School football field could soon display the Ten Commandments.
The Rev. Don Robinson is asking local churches to help pay for the display, which he says would be permitted following a recent Supreme Court ruling that is more tolerant of the Ten Command-ments in public areas.
The school district is asking $60,000 for the right to share the scoreboard with Community Bank, which has donated $100,000 for its construction.

The Cabot School District will allow the display if the Rev. Robinson comes up with the money.
“I don’t believe there would be a conflict as long as they paid for it,” said Johnny White, athletic and transportation director at the Cabot School District.

“I’ll go to work to raise it in the Christian community,” the Rev. Robinson told us. “There’s no question in my mind that if we show them we’re allowed to do it, we can do it.”

“We can get 3,000 godly people the night we unveil it,” says the Rev. Robinson, who has pastored at several small churches. “We’ll give the bank thanks for letting us share the scoreboard.”
“When businesses are allowed to advertise, so can churches,” he says. “A church has the same option to buy advertisements as the business world.”

“Churches will be able to get their message out,” he continues. “We’ll be able to put up signs at ballfields.”
“Young people have the idea we’re not relevant anymore be-cause we’ve been silent. Drug peddlers have been targeting our kids.”

If he encounters any opposition to putting the commandments on the scoreboard, he says he’ll get help from the American Center for Law and Justice, which has gone to court in support of public displays of the commandments.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court last June issued two contradictory rulings on the commandments — allowing their display at the Texas capitol, but not a plaque in a Kentucky courtroom — earlier this month, the full 8th Circuit Court of Appeals let a public display stand in a Nebraska city park, overturning an earlier 2-1 decision by one of the court’s three-judge panels.

Judge Morris S. Arnold of Little Rock, a conservative Republican on the 8th Circuit, dissented from the full court’s favorable ruling on the commandments in the park.

The Rev. Robinson is confident he can legally display the commandments on a football scoreboard, although he acknowledges there are many skeptics in the community.

“We have a lot of Christian people who think we can’t get away with it,” the Rev. Robinson says.
“I appeal to the Christian community,” he adds, “to take back what we lost 30 years ago. We rolled over and played dead 30 years ago. God has put this opportunity in our hands. For many years, they wouldn’t let us pray in schools. We didn’t cease to be Christians.

“This opens up a whole new area for us,” he says, referring to the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The Rev. Robinson says there are 76 churches in Cabot. They’d each have to contribute less than $800 to pay for the scoreboard display. Some churches could give more. A few months ago, members of a local church raised more than $100,000 for an experimental leukemia treatment for young Dakota Hawkins in Jerusalem.
“I’m going to ask the churches for a special offering,” the minister says.

The Rev. Robinson has been active in anti-pornography crusades. It was 18 years ago that he was pictured on the front page of the first issue of The Leader, demonstrating in front of a convenience store that sold adult magazines. That store has been torn down and is the site for the new Chili’s Bar and Grill.

He has been building churches in Mexico as well as small trains he lets children ride at church events.
He is a retired stonemason who developed the patent for a central fireplace that can heat a 4,200-square-foot house.

But religion is his passion and the Ten Commandments his obsession.
“It teaches us how to get along,” he explains. “The commandments are really something.”
“There’s hope,” he adds. “We’ve gotten to the point where we thought we lost hope. The Ten Commandments could be a beginning for us. We can build from there.

“If it’s for God’s cause, I’d like to be in a fight when He calls me. All we need is a battle cry, and the Ten Commandments can be that.”

E-mail Garrick Feldman at gfeldman@centurytel.net. His phone number is 982-9421 or 941-5132.