- WORLD NET DAILY - Bob Unruh - MAR 12, 2023 -
'The Establishment Clause doesn't require blotting religion out of the public square'
Pointing out the U.S. Supreme Court already has ruled that displays across America of the Ten Commandments can be legal, lawyers for First Liberty Institute and the Arkansas attorney general's office have asked a federal court to toss a complaint about one such monument in that state.
"The Supreme Court already settled this debate – displays that are part of the history and tradition of America, like the Ten Commandments, are presumed to be constitutional," explained Lea Patterson, counsel at First Liberty.
"Displaying the Ten Commandments – a symbol of law and moral conduct with both religious and secular significance – is a longstanding national tradition as a matter of law. The court should summarily reject these anti-religion activist organizations' unfounded lawsuits."
The display at issue, on the grounds of the Arkansas state capitol, had been challenged by a list of activist organizations including the Satanic Temple, Freedom from Religion Foundation, American Humanist Association and the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers.
The monument was authorized by the state legislature several years ago.
"Less than 24 hours after it was erected in 2017, the privately-donated monument was destroyed when a man ran over it with his pickup truck. The replacement monument was placed in 2018," First Liberty explained.
The legal team explained, "Despite Supreme Court opinions concluding that similar Ten Commandments displays are constitutional, several individuals and groups sued. But as Justice Breyer observed in his concurring opinion in Van Orden v. Perry, which found a nearly identical Texas monument constitutional, the monument 'communicates to visitors that the state sought to reflect moral principles, illustrating a relation between ethics and law that the state’s citizens, historically speaking, have endorsed.'"