Judge Suggests Stripping 10 Commandments Down to 6 to Remove ‘Religious’ Elements in ACLU-Led Lawsuit
The Ten Commandments is at the center of yet another heated debate. This time, the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is taking a local school district to task over the display of the Commandments inside of Narrows High School in Narrows, Virginia.
Similar to the case over a prayer mural in Cranston, Rhode Island, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of a student (who, along with his or her family will remain anonymous, as per a judge’s order) who wants to see the display removed. The basis of the complaint is familiar: The presence, those opposed to it contend, illustrates a government endorsement of religion and is, thus, unconstitutional.
The Giles County School District, of which Narrows High School is a part, is being represented by Liberty Counsel, a Christian non-profit law group that is claiming that the presence of the display is, in fact, perfectly legal. The debate over the presence of the Ten Commandments began back in 2010 when the Freedom From Religion Foundation first received complaints about it. Inevitably, the ACLU got involved.
After the initial complaints surrounding the Ten Commandments, the list of moral elements to follow was apparently removed and re-posted a number of times. In the end, it was made part of a larger display of historical documents that have shaped American history, the ACLU claims.
“This action flies in the face of both strong legal precedents and our fundamental notions of what religious equality means in the United States,” the ACLU said in a national statement. ”When the government promotes one faith, whether it is through the Ten Commandments or other religious documents, it automatically diminishes all other faiths.”