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ACLU of Florida, Inc. v. Dixie County, Florida

Late in 2006, the Dixie County Commission allowed a local resident to install a five-foot, six-ton granite Ten Commandments monument on the steps of the county courthouse. The monument -- which has the phrase “LOVE GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS” chiseled into its base -- is the only object on the courthouse steps and is visible from the street. Read more

Poster Problems: In Giles County, Va., The Unconstitutional Writing Is On The Wall

Back in 1999, we at Americans United got word about a Pennsylvania school district that, after being prodded by a local fundamentalist minister, decided to post the Ten Commandments in a high school.

Members of the school board knew this was unconstitutional, so they tried an end-run: They designated a certain wall a “free-speech zone” and said community groups could post “character-building” material there. Naturally, the first item posted was a Ten Commandments display donated by a local church. Read more

Doe v. Government-Sponsored Religion: Why Plaintiffs Sometimes Need To Be Anonymous

Let’s say you lived in Giles County, Va., a rural enclave of about 17,000 people in the southwestern portion of the state. Let’s say you were a high school student and you were opposed to the school board’s decision to post the Ten Commandments in your school.

Would you be eager to be public about it?

Some people might be willing to stick their necks out and take a public stand. Others might want to remain a little reticent but still look for ways to right this wrong – and they might seek to do so anonymously. Read more

Stewart v. Johnson County

After the Johnson County Commission removed a government-sponsored Ten Commandments display from the County Courthouse, the Commission created a public forum in the Courthouse lobby for displays relating to the development of American law. The Commission then accepted a display featuring the Ten Commandments, quotations from historical legal sources, and Biblical verses—bearing the message that the United States was founded on Christian principles.  Read more

Advice To Giles County: Thou Shalt Not Gamble With Scarce Public School Funds

Across the country, cash-strapped public schools are scrambling to keep it together. In many districts, teacher salaries are stagnant, and class sizes are growing.

This would not seem to be a good time for any public school to risk losing scarce funds by going on a Ten Commandments crusade.

Yet that’s exactly what’s going on in Giles County, Va. The school board there voted 3-2 earlier this week to bring a display of the Commandments and nine other “historic documents” to the district’s schools. Read more

Commandments Confusion: Louisiana Lawmakers Get Decalogue Fever

Louisiana is a perfectly nice state with a lot of good people in it – but some of the state’s legislators and public officials don’t seem to get it when it comes to separation of church and state.

The Pelican State has repeatedly passed laws that mix religion and government. Over the years, several laws have been passed designed to promote creationism – the most recent effort being a so-called “science education act” that attempts to bring anti-evolutionism in through schoolhouse backdoors. Read more

Constitutional Commandment: Virginia School Board Obeys First Amendment – At Least For Now

Good news from Giles County, Va.! It looks as though local school board members may have decided not to waste precious financial resources on a church-state lawsuit they were almost certain to lose.

On Tuesday, Ten Commandments posters in all local schools came down.

That may mean the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Virginia ACLU will not be taking this constitutional violation into court. Read more

Commandments Clash: Va. County Has One Last Chance To Avoid A Lawsuit – And Should Take It

Public education officials in Giles County, Va., can’t say they weren’t warned.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wrote to school officials recently telling them to remove Ten Commandments displays from the schools. The officials were also advised by their own attorney to take down the religious posters.

At first, they did. But when members of the community complained, the school board voted to put the Ten Commandments back into the schools. Read more

A Commandment For An Ohio Judge: Thou Shalt Not Promote Religion In Court!

Yesterday a federal appeals court in Ohio ruled against a state judge in Richland County who had erected a religious display in his courtroom.

James DeWeese, a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, had put up a display entitled “Philosophies of Law in Conflict” that contrasted the “Moral Absolutes” of the Ten Commandments with the “Moral Relatives” of humanism. Read more

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