Source: The Courier-Journal
On October 13, 2000, The
Courier-Journal (Louisville) reported that "the Utica Town Council is
considering posting the Ten Commandments in the board's meeting room along
with other historical documents. Town Council President Glenn Murphy Sr.
said yesterday that the issue will be placed on the agenda for the Nov. 14
meeting. 'I would like to see it, personally,' he said, adding that it
would emphasize right and wrong to those who see it. Similar postings in
Indiana are being challenged by civil liberties attorneys, but Utica's top
elected official said he doesn't see any problem with his town's proposal.
'Up there, everybody's a hundred and ten (percent) in favor of it,' Murphy
said. The idea was broached at the council's August meeting, officials
said. After researching the issue, Town Attorney Larry Wilder said he
believes the commandments can be posted in the town hall so long as they
are accompanied by other historical documents. 'For the town to do this,
it would be very consistent with what they already have in the building in
terms of historical documents,' Wilder said. The hall's meeting room
already contains a display of an early town map and election tally sheet.
Wilder said a hallway contains pictures of old buildings around the town,
including churches. '... Obviously there are religious overtones in all of
the documents that are already hanging,' he said. Wilder said he would
suggest adding copies of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S.
Constitution and Indiana's Bill of Rights.
"But posting the commandments with other historical documents doesn't solve the legal problem, said Ken Falk, legal director for the Indiana Civil Liberties Union. 'It doesn't diminish its religiosity at all,' Falk said. The only way the posting of the Ten Commandments has been held constitutional, Falk said, is if they are displayed along with documents from other world religions. That way the posting isn't an endorsement of a particular religion, he said. Falk said he has received no complaints from anyone in Utica and wouldn't file any litigation unless someone comes forward. 'I don't want to go county to county, school to school, but we will if we have to if people don't get the message,' Falk said."