In the Henry Institute survey discussed at length below, there’s an agree/disagree question that reads:
Local communities should be allowed to post the Ten Commandments and other religious symbols in public buildings if the majority agrees.
Agreement has increased modestly since 2004, from 66 percent to 71 percent. (Disgreement has also increased, but only by two percent. Those with no opinion are down to seven percent, from 14.)
Here’s the thing: Almost all religious groups are now in agreement with this proposition, including unaffiliated believers and, now, those of other faiths–i.e. those for whom the account of the Ten Commandments is not Holy Writ. (Let’s leave aside the question of the status of the Ten Commandments for Muslims.) The exceptions are the Seculars and the Atheists/Agnostics. Oh yes, and the Jews. Indeed only the Atheists/Agnostics, at 65 percent, are more opposed to the posting of the Commandments than the Jews, at 61 percent.
Why do the Jews, to whom the Ten Commandments were actually given, oppose their public posting? Two explanations, not mutually exclusive, suggest themselves. One, Jews are just super devoted to church-state separation. Two, they’re our Commandments, damn it. If you want to see them posted, go to a shul.
By the way, Happy Shavuot, the major holiday (hag) traditionally understood as the anniversary of the day the Ten Commandments (along with the rest of the Torah–don’t ask) were given on Mount Sinai.