Mon 28 Apr, 2003 10:18 am
Supreme Court Rejects Appeal on Ten Commandments
By James Vicini
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) on Monday rejected an appeal by Kentucky of a ruling that barred the display of a large granite monument with the Ten Commandments on the state Capitol grounds in Frankfort.
Without comment, the justices let stand a federal appeals court ruling that the display would violate church-state separation under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.
The governor in 2000 signed into law a resolution adopted by the state legislature that required placement of the monument, which is more than six feet tall and almost four feet wide, outside the Capitol.
At the top of the monument are the words, "I AM the LORD thy God" followed by the commandments, a sacred and religious text for Jews and Christians. At the bottom are two small Stars of David and a symbol representing Christ.
The monument was given to the state in 1971 by the Fraternal Order of Eagles group. It was displayed until 1980, when it was removed to make room for construction. It has remained in storage since then.
The American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites), or ACLU, and five individuals, including a rabbi and three ministers, sued in 2000, claiming the required display was unconstitutional.
A federal judge and then the appeals court agreed, barring the state from erecting the monument on the Capitol grounds because it would be an unconstitutional governmental endorsement of religion.
Kentucky Attorney General Albert Chandler appealed to the Supreme Court. He said the 2000 law required an overall public display of historic documents that included the Ten Commandments, a religious symbol.
He said the display was proposed under the law, but it had not yet been designed or installed. He said the appeals court should not have made a constitutional decision based on "speculation and conjecture" over the display's appearance.
Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Utah supported Kentucky's appeal.
The states said the permissibility of governmental displays of the Ten Commandments raised a question of "national importance." They urged the high court to hold that governments may have such displays to acknowledge the Ten Commandments' historical role in American culture and law.
The ACLU replied that the appeal should be denied. It said the appeals court applied well-settled principles of law in determining the monument would impermissibly endorse religion.
Last year, the Supreme Court rejected a similar appeal by Indiana arguing that it should be allowed to erect a limestone monument with the Ten Commandments on the statehouse lawn in Indianapolis.
This is good news for all in the US rejected on appeal for the second time I say it is now settled.
Can anyone explain what is wrong with the Ten Commandments? They do not teach people doing anything wrong. The opposite is right. Just because these Commandments have divine origin? Then it looks like persecution of Christianity...
Steissd- The Ten Commandments are Judeo-Christian. The United States is a secular nation. Religion, IMO, has no place in public life.
From another perspective, what about agnostics, atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. who live in the US?
How would you react if it were not the Ten Commandments that were in contention, but some Hindu or Buddhist religious writing?
What's wrong with the Ten Commandments? Let's see...
1)You shall have no other gods before me. This rules out a pluralistic society (not to mention it gets rid of the original religions of the land.)
2) You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God This kinda goes against the first amendment wouldn't you say? Not to mention this commandment is broken pretty regularly. God! It's even used on our money!
3) Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God This is rather unamerican and pretty much ignored anyway. Nonetheless it is religious enough to cause problems even in Israel.
4) You shall not commit murder If only Bush understood that one...
5) You shall not steal OK, this one would be OK on a monument.
6) You shall not commit adultery ... You shall not covet... Jeesh, now you are attacking the bedrocks of American society. We won't stand for it!
It is clear that the 10 commandments are religious, widely ignored even by the religious and not relevent to modern society. Let's keep this monument in storage.
e-brown, phoenix, everybody - you have said it all. Sorry, streissd. This is real life, not a monestary.