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December 21, 2005

A-C-LUsers

From WorldNetDaily...

A U.S. appeals court today upheld the decision of a lower court in allowing the inclusion of the Ten Commandments in a courthouse display, hammering the American Civil Liberties Union and declaring, "The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state."

Attorneys from the American Center for Law and Justice successfully argued the case on behalf of Mercer County, Ky., and a display of historical documents placed in the county courthouse. The panel voted 3-0 to reject the ACLU's contention the display violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

The county display the ACLU sued over included the Ten Commandments, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, the Star Spangled Banner, the national motto, the preamble to the Kentucky Constitution, the Bill of Rights to the U. S. Constitution and a picture of Lady Justice.

Writing for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Richard Suhrheinrich said the ACLU's "repeated reference 'to the separation of church and state' ... has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state."

And from the Nashville City Paper...

Hedy Weinberg, executive director of ACLU-Tennessee, sent a letter to Gov. Phil Bredesen Dec. 12 suggesting the annual menorah display and candle-lighting ceremony would violate the separation of church and state unless it occurred in a public forum where other displays could take place. The menorah has been displayed at the state Capitol since 2003, at the request of the Center for Jewish Awareness....

The Center for Jewish Awareness disagrees with Weinberg’s assessment.

The menorah would be displayed alongside a Christmas tree at the state Capitol, and in this context, would not violate the Constitution, said Rabbi Yitzchok Tiechtel of the Center for Jewish Awareness....

The Supreme Court has found that displaying a menorah alongside a Christmas tree does not endorse religion but recognizes that both Christmas and Chanukah are part of the same holiday season, Tiechtel said. According to Chabad.org, menorahs are displayed publicly across the country, in cities such as Memphis, Las Vegas and Washington D.C.

Posted by Danny Carlton at December 21, 2005 05:45 AM

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