Poster Pulled: Missouri Official Reluctantly Takes Down Sectarian Office Display

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'The Wall of Separation' is happy to report another church-state victory!

Last week, I blogged about Steve Helms -- a county circuit clerk in Missouri who was refusing to remove a religious poster from the lobby of his government office.  

Helms told the Springfield News-Leader that the poster was in memory of 9/11 and merely a representation of the Judeo-Christian ethics the country was founded on.

"It's fundamentally wrong to try to drive everything out of the public sector that has anything to do with religion," he said, insisting that he had no intention of taken the poster down.

In fact, the poster featured a large rendition of the Ten Commandments under a heading in big type that said, "America Praise God."   The poster's dedication was to Jesus Christ, "the one who gave it all for us."

The display was clearly sectarian and a constitutional violation. Now, it looks like Helms has finally gotten a clearer picture of our country's history and laws. His own lawyers advised him to take down the poster since it would not likely be upheld in court, the News-Leader reported.

Helms told the media, "I'm disappointed in the sense that we had to take it down. As a public official, I will abide by the law."

Helms said he would hang another, less controversial, poster in the lobby honoring Sept. 11 victims.

But he hasn't seen the last of the original poster, which was created by a Springfield, Mo., resident. He has ordered 100 copies of the poster to be sent to his home. (See the poster here: http://www.namelessheroes.net/images/9_11%20Poster.jpg.)

Helms plans to distribute copies to anyone who would like one.

"My goal is to find businesses and organizations that would be willing to put it up," Helms told the News-Leader.

And we at AU have no problem with that so long as Helms remembers to do it on his own time and on his own dime as a private citizen, not as a government official.