Local citizens are outraged after an activist atheist group forced a Mississippi Courthouse to take down the Ten Commandments.
After legal threats from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), officials at the Itawamba County Courthouse said Monday they would take down a framed copy of the Ten Commandments.
“The Supervisors of Itawamba County have been notified that the present display of the Ten Commandments by itself is a violation of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling,” County Board Attorney Bo Russell said in a statement. “After consulting with legal counsel, the present display of the Ten Commandments will be replaced with the National Motto of the United States of America, “In God We Trust” adopted by Congress on July 30, 1956. The county is considering adding additional educational displays in the future.”
The FFRF and other activist atheist groups like it regularly targets public displays of religion and sometimes file suit.
“I think we should bond together and say nu-uh, you’re from somewhere else, this is our courthouse, not yours,” local Itawamba County resident Elaine Smith told WCBI.
While the Ten Commandments have lost battles in recent years, notably being removed from Oklahoma’s state capitol, “In God We Trust” has fared better legally since it is the national motto.
“We’re pleased that the County’s unconstitutional Ten Commandments display will be removed from the courthouse,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “But it’s regrettable that the county supervisors sought out another religious statement to replace the Ten Commandments. Elected officials should not use their government position and government buildings as a place for promoting their religious views.”
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