Ten Commandments not okay in OK

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Jun 10, 2009 1 Comment ›› Ben DuPré

Ten Commandments not okay in OK

Yesterday a 3-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit (http://www NULL.ck10 NULL.uscourts NULL.gov/) held that a monument depicting the 10 Commandments and the Mayflower Compact erected by a private citizen on the grounds of the Haskell County, Oklahoma Courthouse (http://www NULL.okgenweb NULL.org/~okhaskel/) was unconstitutional because the monument “had the impermissible principal or primary effect of endorsing religion in violation of the Establishment Clause.”

The appeals court in Green v. Haskell County, Okla. (http://www NULL.ck10 NULL.uscourts NULL.gov/opinions/06/06-7098 NULL.pdf) reversed the federal district court’s opinion finding that it did not violate the Constitution (http://morallaw NULL.org/blog/?p=26) (a refreshingly entertaining and humorous opinion that I recommend you read).  The opinion by the 10th Circuit is yet another example of the federal courts ignoring the text of the Establishment Clause—”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”—and then applying judicially-fabricated tests like the 3-part Lemon test and the “endorsement” test.

Below is a picture of the Ten Commandments monument (center) on the courthouse grounds.  The Mayflower Compact is depicted on the back.

(http://www NULL.okgenweb NULL.org/~okhaskel/)

The Foundation for Moral Law filed a friend-of-the-court brief (http://www NULL.morallaw NULL.org/PDF/Green%20v NULL.%20Haskell%20County%20Board%20of%20Commissioners,%20amicus%20curiae%20brief,%20Foundation%20for%20Moral%20Law,%2004 NULL.03 NULL.07 NULL.doc NULL.pdf) in the appeal of this case, so we are particularly disappointed in the judicial panel’s decision that the Ten Commandments monument has to go.  Haskell County may, and probably will, appeal (http://www NULL.alliancealert NULL.org/2009/06/09/adf-attorney-consider-appeal-of-ten-commandments-ruling/) to the full 10th Circuit court for a rehearing of this case.  In that case we may need to file a brief with the full court to make sure these federal judges understand the truth about the Constitution and displays of the Ten Commandments.  In fact, we will follow this case to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

The opinion’s impact is being felt in the OK state capital, where officials are working to install a similar Ten Commandments monument (http://www NULL.google NULL.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j1ISADOZfVqbFbT5csITef9Dtd-gD98NH4A00).  None of these monuments are actually unconstitutional, but until the lower federal courts feel more bound to follow the words of the Constitution than the conflicting decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, American courthouses and public grounds will continue to be either censored of religious content by activist federal judges or simply preemptively rejected of such monuments by state and local officials for fear of unpredictable lawsuits and legal opinions.

For more information about the chaotic state of Establishment Clause jurisprudence, read the Foundation’s brief (http://www NULL.morallaw NULL.org/PDF/Salazar_v_Buono_memorial_cross_FML_amicus NULL.pdf) filed Monday with the U.S. Supreme Court in Salazar v. Buono.  (Press release here. (http://www NULL.morallaw NULL.org/archive20090608 NULL.htm))  In that case, lower federal courts  ordered a solitary veterans’ memorial cross in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve to be removed from view lest someone think the federal government is “endorsing religion.”  In our Buono brief we lay the blame for such absurd outcomes at the feet of the Supreme Court and ask them to return some clarity to the law by returning to the law itself, the First Amendment text.

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  1. James E Reeves says:

    Anno Domini

    No new words or doctrines done, can explain away God’s only Son!
    His prayer to those that crucified was mercy and forgiveness before He died!
    A prayer for His disciples was understood His Kingdom would come and spread the good.
    And as in Heaven it will be on earth He came to give Jews a second birth!
    From the time that Adam became so vile he was cast out as a commoner among the gentile.
    So Jesus was found worthy to become our King in the realm of Heaven to a manger bring!
    Over 35 miracles would let Jews know, their Messiah had come to let them go!
    Out from Jerusalem this salvation would run, the disciples were the remnant of Jesus God’s Son!
    No more need to follow a strict Jewish tradition; Christ overcame death to seal the petition.
    Over two thousand years of His mighty reign even with persecutions by Jews we don’t complain.
    The Kingdom of Heaven is now among men over one third of the world freely proclaim Him.

    James E Reeves- Author

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