Judge: Ten Commandments robe intended as quiet message

Published 1:16 am Friday, March 18, 2016

Covington County retiring Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan is known in legal circles as the judge who had the Ten Commandments embroidered on his robe.

Retiring Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan

Retiring Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan

While he does have a robe that bears the Commandments, he rarely wears it. Defense attorneys have argued that having the Ten Commandments displayed could prejudice a jury.

Instead, he wears one that bears several passages of scripture.

For instance, Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

And Proverbs 1:7 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Another that might prove helpful to someone charged with making life-and-death decisions in a courtroom, Psalm 124:8 – “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

Along with Psalm 119:137; Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 119:105; Psalm 119:142; Psalm 119:160; Proverbs 3:5; and Revelation 15:3.

“It was always intended to be a quiet message,” he said of the robe. “It was never intended to force others to agree with my religious point of view, but it was intended to speak truth to power, which in this county is the federal government, and that’s what it was about.

“And when you think about it, if the government wants to throw away the traditional foundation of truth that has sustained the country and just exclude it for diversity’s sake, it has to be replaced. There has to be a theory of truth. No individual person has to adhere to it, but we can’t be a nation of 300 million people screaming at each other. There has to be some reservoir to which we can go to decide issues of right and wrong.

“I may sound doctrinaire when I say it, and I suppose I am, But I don’t think the Bible is true. I know it’s true.”