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Supreme Court decision sparks plans for new Ten Commandments displays, legal confusion

.- In light of this week’s Supreme Court ruling and a heated national debate on the use of religious monuments in public buildings, many Christian groups are excited about the possibility of new displays honoring the Ten Commandments. The Supreme Court ruling held that a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Texas State Capital could remain while, two Kentucky courthouses would be forced to remove framed versions of the Biblical Laws from their properties.

Some say that the ruling paves the way for Ten Commandment displays to be erected in nearly 100 cities across the nation.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Washington-based Christian Defense Coalition, said,

"We see this as an historic opening, and we're going to pursue it aggressively."

While disappointed with the Kentucky decision, Mahoney said that the Texas side, it "open[s] up a whole new frontier" for preserving the United States' "Christian heritage."

While many like Mahoney, are excited about new opportunities the ruling provides, others are simply confused by the Supreme Court’s non-specific decision. The ruling said that the context of the displays was key to determining their legality.

In Texas, the Ten Commandments were part of a larger display portraying the history of law in civilization. In the Kentucky courthouses however, the justices determined that they were by themselves, thus displaying a preference for Judeo-Christianity.

In Boise, Idaho, a Ten Commandments display similar to the one in Texas was removed from a public park and relegated to a local Episcopal church because it was seen as violating the separation of church and state,

Brandi Swindell, director of the Keep the Commandments Coalition of Idaho is arguing that in light of the Supreme Court decision, the Commandments should be replaced in the city’s Julia Davis Park, where they sat all but unnoticed for decades.

Boise’s mayor, David Bieter however, told the Washington Post that he’s not convinced. “Our frustration is,” he said, “it's very difficult to tell what kind of display would be constitutional" in light of the Supreme Court's split decisions.


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July 25, 2014

Saint James, Apostle

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