by Aimee Levitt
Oh, Charlton Heston, why did you have to go and die? The town of Marion, Illinois, needs you! Well, they don't really need you -- their problem isn't gun control -- but they need you to re-enact your greatest film role. No, not Ben Hur, though yes, it would probably be loads of fun to race chariots again. And no, the townspeople have not been enslaved by extraordinarily intelligent apes. What they need is Moses!
Yes, Moses, the lawbringer. You see, some folks in Marion think it would be a swell idea to erect a monument to the Ten Commandments in the city square. Not your movie, sorry, just the tablets with writing on them. It's not clear if Marionites are indulging in idol worship or just taking the Lord's name in vain a lot (by the way, does texting "OMG" count?), but, in the words of Ken Kessler, the man who proposed the monument, "If we aren't reminded of these things that we have, we will see them gradually slipping away."
Kessler was inspired by a similar monument he saw in Indiana. He brought his proposal before the Marion city council Monday night, and though nobody actually voted on it, Mayor Bob Butler says he will do whatever it takes to get the commandments monument up, lawsuits from the ACLU (which have actually already been threatened) be damned.
"If they think we're going to back off because of that possibility, they're crazy," the mayor told WSIL-TV. He plans to get around that annoying separation-of-church-and-state issue by selling a portion of the city square and turning it into private property.
Now this is where you come in, Chuck. Butler says that several monument companies have offered to donate the five-feet-tall slabs, plus the engraving, but how impressive would it be if you were able to come and deliver them in person? You'd have to do it before an impending thunderstorm, of course, so you'll be backed by thunder and lightning which symbolize the Wrath of God. You don't have to throw them at the Golden Calf and wreck any parties like you did in the movie, but a little guilt trip would be nice.
Then they'd really understand why they need the Ten Commandments in the city square.
But you're dead. Alas. So it looks like Butler and the Marion city council (and the taxpayers) will have to pony up for legal fees after all.