Commandments will not hang in Monroe Courthouse

7:53 PM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
This picture shows the Ten Commandments being removed from the Monroe County courthouse in 2005.
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The Ten Commandments will not hang in Monroe County's Courthouse after all.

The picture was taken down in 2005 following a federal lawsuit settlement against the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

In June, Mayor Tim Yates thought a new Tennessee law would allow the picture to be displayed again.

The state law approves the Ten Commandments to be placed in public as long as they are presented in a historical context alongside other historical documents.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation quickly spoke against Monroe County's decision to hang the picture again.

Now, Monroe County officials decided not to move ahead.

"It is a very personal issue for the people of Monroe County.  I know it is for the mayor," said Monroe County Attorney Jerome Melson.

The county attorney believes a court might find such a display a ploy to solely post the Ten Commandments again in Monroe County, since the county strongly supported the document before.

"Any court that might review it in litigation would have to take into account the prior history Monroe County had in hanging the Ten Commandments," Melson explained.

Melson also said the county made a promise in 2005 to never hang the Ten Commandments again.

"The representation was officially made to the federal court that the removal of the commandments was permanent," said the attorney who admitted his findings do not represent his views on the commandments.

Cocke County is one jurisdiction in the 10News viewing area that took advantage of the new state law.  The county sheriff posted the Ten Commandments in the Cocke County Courthouse in September.


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