Monroe County Courthouse to display Ten Commandments again

Monroe County Courthouse to display Ten Commandments again

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It's been seven years since the Ten Commandments display was taken off the walls. It's been seven years since the Ten Commandments display was taken off the walls.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

MADISONVILLE (WATE) - Monroe County officials are preparing to replace a historical document removed in 2005.

County Mayor Tim Yates says the Ten Commandments will go back up inside the courthouse in Madisonville, along with several other historical documents.

It's been seven years since the Ten Commandments display was taken off the walls. That's after former County Mayor J. Allan Watson removed the display following a lawsuit brought on by the ACLU.

"Right now, we're going through wars, fights all the time. This is going to be a display, I think of all these documents, is a display of our bravery, America's freedom and the heritage of our faith," Mayor Yates said.

A new state law dictates that the Ten Commandments qualifies as an historical document and can be displayed in government buildings as such. "I think we owe it to our people to stand up for the liberties of the American people," Yates added.

Four other documents will be displayed alongside the Ten Commandments. All the displays are the same size. Among them are the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Mayflower Compact.

Madisonville residents say they're glad the Ten Commandments will soon be back on the wall. "One of the best things about Tennessee is that it really is a nation under God, and that's what it's supposed to be. I think it needs to be right in front of the judges and the jury and everybody in the courtroom," Kathy Smith said.

Residents also say they don't see why the commandments had to come down in the first place.

"I actually don't see why it's even an issue. God made us so I don't see why it should even be a question. I think we should be able to put it anywhere we want to," Larry Smith said.

The documents are scheduled to be displayed beginning next Thursday, June 21.

6 News spoke with the ACLU for this report. "Were this a stand-alone display of the Ten Commandments, there would be serious constitutional concerns. This particular display, which includes other historical documents, likely passes constitutional muster," said Hedy Weinberg of the ACLU of Tennessee.

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