Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Federal Judge: Ten Commandments Monument Violates U.S. Constitution « CBS Pittsburgh

According to Hemant Mehta, "This controversy began in 2012, with those first letters to the District. The student whose family lodged that complaint has since graduated from the school and they have no connection to it anymore. Taking the monument down, in that case, won’t make any different since the student’s not even around to appreciate it."
A federal judge on Friday ruled that a monument of the Ten Commandments outside the Connellsville Area Junior High School in Fayette County violates the U.S. Constitution.

However, at the same time, the judge did not order the monolith removed.

Now, both opponents and supporters of the monument are claiming at least partial victories.

The four-and-a-half-foot monument has been on school property for more than 50 years, and most recently, it’s been tightly sealed to prevent people from removing plywood and other coverings.

The judge said the monument can stay where it is because the student who objected to it, and challenged it in court, has moved on and no longer attends the school.
From the FFRF:
McVerry's decision recites the chronology of the placement, which involved the mayor rhapsodizing that "there can be no better guidance for youth than God's laws," and notes it was one of the Ten Commandments markers donated as a campaign by the Eagles with filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, director of "The Ten Commandments."

The decision recites the community uproar over the request to remove the biblical edicts from public school grounds, including a prayer rally and public gathering at the monument, with sprinkles of "amen" from the crowd. At a public meeting the complainants were referred to as "yellow-belly bums" for being pseudonymous, and speakers cited the need to "stand up for the Bible" and Christianity.

"The monument still stands alone outside the school, declaring to all who pass it, 'I AM the LORD thy God.' There is no context plausibly suggesting that this plainly religious message has any broader, secular meaning," wrote McVerry.

Citing Supreme Court precedent, McVerry added: "Whether the key word is 'endorsement,' 'favoritism,' or 'promotion,' the essential principle remains the same. The Establishment Clause, at the very least, prohibits government from appearing to take a position on questions of religious belief or from 'making adherence to a religion relevant in any way to a person's standing in the political community.' "
Federal Judge: Ten Commandments Monument Violates U.S. Constitution « CBS Pittsburgh

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