Religious Liberty
An American Heritage

     
Ten Commandments, Nativity Display Must Be Moved

By agreeing to relocate a display of the Ten Commandments and not display a Nativity Scene at the county courthouse, the Custer County Commissioners have settled a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Montana.

The granite monument displaying the Ten Commandments near the courthouse entrance will be moved to the facility's west lawn and become part of "The Evolution of Law" exhibit. Also, the Nativity Scene will be moved to privately-owned property.

The agreement was signed by two of the three commissioners — Janet Kelley and Dan Connors. Commissioner Duane Mathison refused to sign the agreement saying that the Ten Commandments are engraved on a large tablet and have been on the lawn year-round for at least 20 years, "This is a sad day for all Christians that we can no longer display the Nativity Scene on the Courthouse lawn."

From late November until just after Christmas, the Nativity Scene has been displayed for the last seven years.

The ACLU filed the complaint in December 1999, after receiving complaints about the display. The ACLU's legal costs have to be paid by the county within 30 days.

("County Commissioners settle with ACLU to move Ten Commandments, Nativity display, "The Associated Press, October 4, 2000)

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