.- Harris County has appealed a 2004 ruling made by a federal court judge that ordered an open Bible, which was part of a four-foot tall display, removed. The federal judge said the nearly 50-year-old privately donated display in Harris County, TX, violates the United States Constitution.
The display was designed and erected by the Star of Hope Mission, a Houston-based Christian charity, in memory of the late William Mosher, who had been an active member and longtime supporter of the homeless mission.
Last year, Houston resident Kay Staley filed a federal lawsuit to have the Bible removed from the display. She claimed the inclusion of the Bible violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. A federal district court judge agreed with Staley and ordered the Bible removed.
Harris County has now appealed the ruling to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and at the county’s request, the Thomas More Law Center has filed a friend of the court brief.
The president and chief counsel of the Law Center said this case is “another example of the hostility toward Christians exhibited by many federal courts.”
Richard Thompson pointed out that Staley confirmed her own hostility toward Christian displays in an interview last August following the court’s ruling. As a result of her actions, the Houston Atheist Society gave Staley the Activist of the Year award.
“The district court totally ignored the argument that this Memorial reflects the private speech of a private organization,” said trial counsel Edward L. White III, who authored the amicus brief. “The memorial to William Mosher is clearly the private speech of the Star of Hope Mission.”