The Freedom From Religion Foundation urges the Bradford County, Fla., Commission to remove the recently placed Ten Commandments display from outside the County Courthouse.
FFRF is a national state/church watchdog with over 18,000 members nationwide, including more than 850 in Florida.
The Ten Commandments were unveiled at the courthouse on May 3, to celebrate a local National Day of Prayer event. The event was chock-full of Christian prayer and many attendees wore t-shirts that said "a monumental day for Christians."
Members of a bible study who routinely meet at a local steakhouse spoke at the May 3 dedication to "endorse and support" the unveiling of the monument. James Jones reached out to the "Lord" and, ironically referenced Judge Roy Moore who, he said, lost his job "by standing up for doing exactly what we're doing right now." Ken Weaver added "First of all, it's a dedication to its author, the True and Living God."
Ron Kimball followed with ". . . I pray that the words inscribed on this stone will reach out to those who walk past this place and God, by your spirit, draw them to your Word."
FFRF Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott wrote to Bradford County Chairman Ross Chandler and the Board of Commissioners on May 14 asking them to remove the bible edicts from the County Courthouse lawn.
Elliott pointed out that the monument violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because it lacks a secular purpose and constitutes an endorsement of religion by the county.
"The first commandment alone makes it obvious why the Ten Commandments may not be posted by government bodies. The County government has no business telling citizens which god they must have, how many gods they must have, or that they must have any god at all," wrote Elliott.
FFRF is familiar with this type of state/church violation. The watchdog group is serving as co-counsel in a lawsuit against the School Board of Giles County, Va., over an illegal Ten Commandments display at Narrows High School.