Court rules on 10 Commandments
|Federal court strikes down Ten
Commandments display at Alabama Supreme Court
State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore's
religious crusade dealt legal setback
A press release dated November 18, 2002, from
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
You can also read the
New York Times report.
If you're interested in finding positive ways of
teaching about the Ten Commandments, check out a
listing of resources provided by the Rev. Bruce Gillette of First
Presbyterian Church, Pitman, NJ.
A federal court in
Alabama today struck down display of a Ten Commandments monument at the
state supreme court building in Montgomery, declaring that the religious
sculpture violates the First Amendment's church-state separation
Judge Myron H. Thompson ruled that the two-ton granite sculpture of the
Ten Commandments must be removed from the state Judicial Building. The
monument was placed in the building's lobby in July of 2001 on orders
from Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Moore has been
crusading to have government endorse the Ten Commandments for years. As
a state judge in Etowah County, he adorned his courtroom with a
hand-carved Ten Commandments plaque. Elected chief justice in 2000,
Moore vowed to display the Decalogue at the Judicial Building as well.
is a big setback to Roy Moore's religious crusade," said the Rev.
Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, which cosponsored
the litigation. "It's high time Moore learned that the source of
U.S. law is the Constitution, not the Bible."
the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama and the Southern Poverty
Law Center filed suit against Moore on behalf of local residents who
opposed the religious display on government property. The case,
Glassroth v. Moore, has drawn national attention.
Lynn noted that
the lawsuit was not an attack on the Ten Commandments. "Many
Americans revere this moral code," said Lynn, a United Church of
Christ minister. "However, it is not the job of government to
single out one religious code and hold it up as the state's favorite.
Promoting the Ten Commandments is a task for our houses of worship, not
said today that the religious display "violated the Establishment
Clause of the First Amendment" and ordered Moore to remove the
monument within 30 days.
Moore has received
backing from national Religious Right leaders, chiefly from Florida TV
preacher D. James Kennedy. Kennedy has raised money for Moore's defense
and even sold a video of Moore supervising placement of the Ten
Commandments sculpture in the building on the evening of July 31, 2001.
Moore waited until the building was empty and then had the 2,000-pound
sculpture brought in.
Moore did not
consult with the other justices of the court before taking the action.
He later told the Los Angeles Times, "I'm the highest legal
authority in the state, and I wanted it there."
Americans United Legal Director and lead counsel in the case, said,
"Today's decision protects religious liberty for everyone in
Alabama. It affirms that the courts of Alabama will give equal justice
to persons of all religious faiths."
Read the Court's decision www.almd.uscourts.gov/
is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C.
Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the
importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious
Conn, Rob Boston or Steve Benen 202-466-3234 telephone 202-466-2587
ratified (or not) by the presbyteries
A number of the most important actions of the 219th
General Assembly are now being sent to the presbyteries for their
action, to confirm or reject them as amendments to the PC(USA) Book
We're providing resources to help inform the
reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.
Our three areas of primary interest are:
which would remove the current ban on
lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as
possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.|
which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of
10-1, which would adopt the new Form of Government
that was approved by the Assembly. |
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