Religious Diversity News

Differing “Decalogue Displays” to be Considered in 10 Commandment Cases

Source: The Washington Post

On October 23, 2004 The Washington Post reported, “sometime in late winter, advocates for and opponents of public displays of the Ten Commandments will argue the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time in 25 years. Litigators on both sides agree that the justices probably will set parameters on what constitutes an acceptable display of the commandments, relying partly on the court’s previous decisions on the display of Nativity scenes in town squares and courthouses… They disagree, however, on whether the existence of different versions of the Ten Commandments — reflecting theological differences among Protestants, Catholics and Jews — will or should affect the court’s decision… That debate will be part of a broader First Amendment argument over whether the displays constitute government endorsement of religion or government allowance of the free expression of religion.”

Editorial: Ten Commandments Belong in Churches, Synagogues, not Public Square


On August 31, 2003, ran an editorial by Bob Schieffer on the Alabama Ten Commandments controversy in which he argued, “To suggest that these great religions, which have survived for thousands of years, somehow need or require the state government of Alabama to promote them is not only questionable, it borders on the blasphemous.

The true place of honor for the Ten Commandments is not a state courthouse, but the churches and synagogues of America. An even better place is deep inside our hearts. To place them otherwise is not to honor, but to trivialize them.”

Opinion: Americans Should Display God’s Law on Heart, not on Courthouse Lawn

Source: Star-Telegram

On July 10, 2005 the Star-Telegram ran an opinion piece by Charles Foster Johnson, senior pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church of San Antonio. He reflects on American civil religion in light of the current public debate on the display of the Ten Commandments. Johnson says, “today religion in the public square has been stripped of its civility. A disease of uncivil religion has infected our land. This disease has been incubating for years, but has reached epidemic proportions in our current time of terror… This crusade is most recently confirmed by how the forces of uncivil religion reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision on the posting of the Ten Commandments. A national campaign has been launched to place 100 Ten Commandments monuments this year on public property. In short, this means that the disease is spreading to every town, further infecting our national family with division and alienation… We are all for the display of the Ten Commandments — more displays than an Alabama judge can possibly imagine. We just want them put where God says to put them, on human hearts that cannot be corrupted by cynical powers and principalities — not on courthouse lawns. We stand for a movement of God’s Law, not a monument.”

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