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    Alabama judge ordered to remove Ten Commandments from courtroom

    An Alabama judge was ordered Feb. 3 to change or remove a plaque of the Ten Commandments from his courtroom. Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price had originally said the display could stay, but after viewing it himself he decided it was “purely religious” and ordered Etowah County Circuit Judge Roy Moore to remove it.

    Moore “has unequivocally stated that the plaques are not in the courtroom for a historical, judicial or educational purpose, but rather, and clearly to promote religion,” wrote Price. Moore made the plaque himself, and was told that he can keep it on display if he adds nonreligious items to secularize it.

    Price said he was not opposed to the Ten Commandments, and encouraged their display in private venues. “They may be displayed in every church, synagogue, temple, mosque, home and storefront. They may be displayed in cars, on lawns and in corporate boardrooms,” he said. “Where this precious gift cannot and should not be displayed … is on government property.”

    Price previously ordered Moore to stop his practice of opening court sessions with prayer. That order is being appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court, which has said the prayers may continue while they consider the case.

    The decision came in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which claims the prayers and display of the plaque violate the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.

    Moore indicated that he will not comply with Price’s order. Alabama Gov. Fob James, a supporter of Moore, said that if necessary he would use state troopers and the National Guard to prevent the removal of the plaque.

    — E.P. News

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