East Texans Confused About Ten Commandments Decision - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/27/05

East Texans Confused About Ten Commandments Decision

The Supreme Court says "yes" and "no" to displaying the Ten Commandments on public property.

The high court voted 5 to 4 in two rulings today. In one case, the court said "no" to the Commandments displayed inside two courthouses in Kentucky. The justices say the displays promote a religious message. In the second ruling, the justices said "yes" to the monument displayed outside the Texas Capitol in Austin.

The decision leaves some East Texans confused.

"What was their decision?" George Bentley, an East Texan, said. "I don't understand."

"It's very confusing," Brenda Campbell, a teacher at Tyler Islamic School, said.

"You either can or you can't, Supreme Court. So which can you?" Smith County Judge Becky Dempsey, who is for displaying the Ten Commandments, said.

"I think they don't know what they want, really," Ricketisha Robertson, an East Texan, said.

"They said what is legal in Texas is apparently illegal in Kentucky," U.S. Senator John Cornyn, (R) Texas, said. "And they're going to decide these cases on a case-by-case basis."

"That gives lawyers something to do," Marilyn Larison, an East Texan, said.

The Supreme Court's rulings basically say it's ok to display the Ten Commandments inside and outside government buildings, as long as they're not promoting religion.

"The court is dealing with their own confused and self-contradictory decisions," Cornyn said.

The Supreme Court's majority opinion was based on the First Amendment. When it comes to different religions or non-religion, justices say the government must remain neutral.

"This is a government that was founded under God, and I think it's ok," Larison, who is for displaying the Ten Commandments, said.

"Hey, I'm all for religion. I like religion. Amen," Robertson said. "So they should have it everywhere that they want to have it."

"I don't think it's what the Constitution was going for," Bentley, who is against displaying the Ten Commandments, said. "It kind of selects one religion."

"Every one of the Ten Commandments can be found in the Koran as well," Campbell, who is for displaying the Ten Commandments, said.

These East Texans may disagree on whether the Biblical document should be displayed at all. But most of them agree the Supreme Court did not make a clear-cut decision.

In the Kentucky case, the Supreme Court said the Ten Commandments inside the two courthouses were endorsing religion in the form of framed copies. But in the Austin, Texas case, the high court said the Ten Commandments are allowed because they are placed with 17 other historic displays on a 22-acre lot.

Julie Tam, reporting. jtam@kltv.com

 

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