Kentucky Senate Passes Resolution to Post Ten Commandments

October 13, 2000

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that "the Utica Town Council is considering posting the Ten Commandments in the board's meeting room along with other historical documents.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Larry Wilder said he believes the commandments can be posted in the town hall so long as they are accompanied by other historical documents. 'For the town to do this, it would be very consistent with what they already have in the building in terms of historical documents,' Wilder said.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"But posting the commandments with other historical documents doesn't solve the legal problem, said Ken Falk, legal director for the Indiana Civil Liberties Union.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."