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Religious Liberty
An American Heritage

A Never-Ending Battle for the Ten Commandments

Without tiring, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) continues to harrass public officials across the nation in an effort to erase the remembrance of America's godly heritage with the elimination of public displays of the Ten Commandments. Three communities have been under attack recently with one almost reaching the highest court of the nation for a ruling.

Alabama

In May, a constitutional amendment, endorsed by the Lieutenant Governor, was proposed in a state legislature committee to allow the Ten Commandments to be hung in public buildings.

Ragan Ingram, spokesman for the Lt. Governor said, "We think it is something that's important to the people of Alabama, and it's something that we should do...The teachings of the Ten Commandments convey thought that should be helpful for students to see and for all of us to see in public buildings."

The chance of its passage has dimmed since May with a modification to the amendment which almost guarantees its failure.

Nebraska

Plattsmouth, Nebraska has fought a lengthy battle with the ACLU for a monument in the City Park, first erected in 1965, which displays the Ten Commandments. Defending the city is Frank Marion of the American Center for Law and Justice,

"There is absolutely no constitutional violation involved in a city's display of a monument of this sort, which displays a text which has played a vital and fundamental role in the development of Western legal systems. That fact has been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court on many occassions."

Ironically, there are most likely over 4,000 similar monuments in communities throughout the nation. As the ACLU is on the rampage against religion, federal judges are beginning to seek a compromise.

Indiana

To the great disappointment of members of the town of Elkhart, Indiana, the Supreme Court refused to review the case over the future of a public statue in the town displaying the Ten Commandments.

At the heart of the struggle is the issue of freedom of speech and freedom of religion provided by the First Amendment. In response to the ACLU's fight, Jon Dougherty rejects the myth of Separation of Church and State with this statement:

"There is no constitutional language calling for a "separation of church and state...Rather, the First Amendment says only this: 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

It is hard to imagine how the Founding Fathers would have reacted to this type of persecution. If the ACLU were responding to the Founding Fathers when this nation was started, America might not have become the land of freedom it is today.

(Kim Chandler, "Commandments Backers Want Vote of People," The Birmingham News, May 1, 2001; "10 Commandments at Heart of Suit," Omaha World-Herald, May 18, 2001; Stan Bailey, "Commandments Not Enough," The Birmingham News, May 3, 2001; Jon Dougherty, "Enough Already!" WorldNetDaily.com, June 4, 2001)

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