Ten Commandments

December 7, 1999

Although the Supreme Court ruled that posting the Ten Commandments in school is unconstitutional, lots of Americans still disagree with that ruling. Just consider a few cases that illustrate what's happening in grassroots America.

One case given national attention occurred in Riverside County, California. Back in September, the Val Verde Board of Education approved a motion to post the Ten Commandments in school district offices. The original proposal was in response to the tragedy at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Last week, however, the school board reversed its decision based on a possible lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU threat was sufficient to force a vote overturning the original recommendation. But there are still three pending lawsuits in Kentucky where school boards have been willing to stand and fight.

Meanwhile another case has been making its way through the courts. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Downey Unified School District against Edward DiLoreto. He was a local businessman who was asked to buy advertising space on the outfield fence of the Downey High School baseball field. The school was glad for him to post his advertisement until they found out he wanted to post the Ten Commandments.

Well, the court ruled that the baseball field existed as part of the educational process so that posting a religious message (like the Ten Commandments) would be an unconstitutional establishment of religion. And now maybe you can see why the House of Representatives passed a bill this summer to allow the posting of the Ten Commandments. These cases illustrate how twisted the First Amendment has become in just the last few years. That's why the Senate needs to now consider this issue.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.