A Baptist Congressman who wants to require displaying the Ten Commandments in the U.S. Capitol couldn’t name them when put on the spot by Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert.
Appearing on “The Colbert Report,” a satire program mimicking personality-driven pundit shows, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., was asked why he co-sponsored a bill declaring the Ten Commandments “fundamental principles” and “the cornerstones of a fair and just society” and requiring their prominent display in the U.S. Capitol.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
“Well, the Ten Commandments is not a bad thing for people to understand and to respect,” Westmoreland said. “Where better could you have something like that than in a judicial building or a courthouse?
“I think if we were totally without them we may lose a sense of our direction.”
The Congressman stumbled when Colbert asked him, “What are the Ten Commandments?”
“What are all of them?” he asked. “You want me to name them all?”
“Don’t murder. Don’t lie. Don’t steal. Ummmmm,” he said quietly, before admitting, “I can’t name them all.”
Westmoreland press secretary Brian Robinson told the Macon Telegraph that during the interview, Westmoreland actually got about seven of the commandments right, but it was edited out of the program.
“I challenge anybody outside of the clergy to try to (name them all),” Robinson said.
Westmoreland, a member of Southcrest Baptist Church in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Newnan, Ga., was ranked the seventh-most conservative member of the House of Representatives by National Journal magazine.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.