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Published: Thursday, 8/21/2003

Courthouse rally supports biblical law display

BY DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

Mrs. Gallant said the rally also expresses local Christians' support for Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore, whose effort to keep a Ten Commandments monument in the state Supreme Court rotunda was rejected yesterday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mrs. Gallant said her event - which is scheduled for 10 hours a day, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., for 10 days - will culminate in a “victory celebration” Sept. 1. Each day's events will include prayer, music, preaching, and the reading of a commandment.

Mrs. Gallant said the rally is supported by a prayer group and by Bible Temple on Airport Highway and Bethel Apostolic Temple on West Bancroft Street. She said more churches might participate.

The ACLU Foundation of Ohio filed a lawsuit last year in U.S. District Court asking for the removal of the 46-year-old Toledo monument, claiming it violates the constitutional amendment prohibiting establishment of religion by being on government property.

U.S. District Judge James Carr is expected to rule on the case by the end of this year.

Elsewhere, disputes over displays of the biblical laws have led to several recent high-profile court decisions.

In June, a federal court allowed an 83-year-old Ten Commandments monument to remain in a Pennsylvania courthouse, citing the plaque's historical significance.

In the Alabama case, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta last month ruled that the monument, installed by Justice Moore in July, 2001, violated the constitutional requirement on separation of church and state.

Justice Moore's efforts to have the ruling overturned were rejected by appeals courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday turned down his 11th-hour appeal.

“This isn't fully a religious issue,” Mrs. Gallant said yesterday. “On the human history timeline, the Ten Commandments are the cornerstone of all the legal systems that followed.”

“Younger people have not been given parameters of behavior, and children need to know what is expected of them,” Mrs. Gallant said. “Without that, they are running amok and our society is out of control. We need to get back to the basics.”



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