Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Moses or Solomon?

A federal judge ordered mediation with a magistrate judge in a lawsuit about whether the Ten Commandments can be displayed at a Virginia high school. U.S. District Judge Urbanski of Roanoke ordered the school board and the unnamed student and parent into mediation to see if a compromise can be reached over the biblical display. It's been reported that the judge suggested a deal could be made where the first four of the Ten Commandments are left off the display. This is unusual in cases of this type, which are typically all or nothing. For instance, in a pending Florida case, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently heard arguments regarding Dixie County's Ten Commandments, where litigants are fighting over whether or not a six-ton model of the Ten Commandments in front of the county courthouse is unconstitutional and whether an anonymous plaintiff has standing in that matter. In the VA case, the judge issued a protective order allowing the parent and student involved in the case to remain anonymous during the suit which apparently came to fruition by a mutual agreement due to the threat of hostility by the community. The case involves a four-foot tall display of the Ten Commandments first hung on school walls following the Columbine school shooting in 1999. The display was taken down over a decade later by school officials, after receiving complaints, and replaced with a copy of the Declaration of Independence. In 2011, the Ten Commandments display was replaced following a backlash from parents and pastors. The display was then removed again after a month by school officials for no stated reason, prompting students to walk out of classrooms in protest. Will the tablets be split down to six, remain at ten or will there be none at all? See stories and