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Ten Commandments

November 19, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
A federal judge ruled that a Ten Commandments monument installed in Alabama's judicial building by the state's chief justice must be removed because it violates the separation of church and state. "Its sloping top and the religious air of the tablets unequivocally call to mind an open Bible resting on a podium," U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson said. Chief Justice Roy Moore's attorney said the chief justice would appeal.
August 20, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
A federal appeals court rejected two requests from the chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court to lift an order to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building in Montgomery. The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Chief Justice Roy Moore's requests, saying he had failed to ask for a stay within the legal time frame after it ruled against him July 1.
February 23, 1997
Re "Defying the Law In Support of the Law" (Feb. 13): What part of the separation of church and state don't Judge Roy Moore, Alabama Gov. Forrest James Jr. and their supporters understand? Far from seeming "a bit trivial," as your story suggests, the issue is the 1st Amendment, the very keystone of our society. With Judge Moore "just saying no" to enforcing the Constitution (his sworn duty) and Gov. James threatening dissenters with physical violence by calling out the National Guard and the state troopers to keep the Ten Commandments plaque in Moore's courtroom)
June 29, 2005
Re "Justices Limit Public Display of Religion," June 28: The U.S. Supreme Court has stated it is OK to display a religious symbol on government property as long as it is for a historical reason and not an endorsement of any one religion. Following that logic, the L.A. County seal (with the cross representing our historical founding) should now be saved from extinction. The cross does not endorse one religion over another, it represents our history. Louis Grinbaum Northridge The only commandment that is even faintly religious is the First: "I am the Lord your God. Thou shalt have no God besides me," which supports monotheism but does not name a specific religion or divine being.
Reaffirming their belief that their schoolchildren lack a moral compass, trustees of the Val Verde Unified School District nonetheless voted Monday night to rescind their earlier decision to post the Ten Commandments at school offices. The district, said school board President Robert Givens, could not afford the legal fees to fight the issue in court, where the matter was headed after a lawsuit was filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
March 18, 2010 | By Mike Anton
Strong winds scour the dunes, which hide a curious history. Nails and fragments of concrete are scattered everywhere. Steel cables, carved pieces of wood and slabs of painted plaster poke out of the ground, ghosts rising from the grave. In 1923, Cecil B. DeMille came to the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes on California's Central Coast and built a movie set that still captures the imagination -- a colossal Egyptian dreamscape for the silent movie version of "The Ten Commandments." Under the direction of French artist Paul Iribe, a founder of the Art Deco movement, 1,600 craftsmen built a temple 800 feet wide and 120 feet tall flanked by four 40-ton statues of the Pharaoh Ramses II. Twenty-one giant plaster sphinxes lined a path to the temple's gates.
October 13, 2004 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
The Supreme Court, which has been closely split on religious issues, announced Tuesday that it would decide whether a government display of the Ten Commandments at public buildings violated the 1st Amendment's ban on "an establishment of religion." Plaques and monuments depicting the biblical commandments are at the center of the continuing dispute over the meaning of the U.S. Constitution.
June 28, 2005 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
The Supreme Court, declaring that public officials may not seek to advance or promote religion, on Monday struck down the posting of the Ten Commandments on the walls of two Kentucky courthouses. But the court did not set a clear rule for deciding when the government had gone too far in permitting religious displays, and the decision probably wasn't the last word. In its 5-4 ruling, the court said the commandments were "a sacred text" that carried an "unmistakably religious" message.
A leading civil rights group filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday to block a rural school district from posting the Ten Commandments in its offices--but the issue could become moot within a week. The lawsuit, prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said the decision by trustees of the Val Verde Unified School District to display the biblical rules directly ignored a 1980 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prohibits posting the commandments at schools.
The dispute is headed for a legal showdown over the 1st Amendment, the separation of church and state and baseball. And if businessman Ed DiLoreto carries the day, he will be able to post the Ten Commandments in an advertisement along the outfield fence of the Downey High School baseball field. DiLoreto, who runs a Downey engineering firm, insists that he is simply exercising his 1st Amendment rights and promoting good morals among youngsters.
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