Ten Commandments Staying at Lubbock County Courthouse, For Now - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/27/05

Ten Commandments Staying at Lubbock County Courthouse, For Now

Two controversial cases involving the Ten Commandments displays receive two different rulings from the highest court. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled a six-foot granite monument on the capitol grounds in Austin is okay, but the Ten Commandments framed inside a Kentucky courthouses are not.

The court's rulings hinged on context and intent. In Kentucky, the Ten Commandments were originally posted alone. The Texas monument has stood on the capitol grounds for more than 40 years with 16 other historical displays.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says he's pleased with the high courts ruling. "The Supreme Court has made it clear that Texas is a model for how governmental bodies across the country can legally and constitutionally display religious symbols like the Ten Commandments."

Former Attorney Thomas Van Orden challenged the Texas display in 2002.

As for the Ten Commandments inside the Lubbock County Courthouse nothing will happen to it for now, that is until someone finds it offensive and sues the county over it.

County Judge Tom Head told us that's when the county will take it down. But so far, Judge Head says no one has had a problem with it. The set of commandments is in a display case inside the commissioners office waiting area.

Commissioner Patti Jones says the plaques were given to the county as a gift nearly five years ago, but they do not have any historical reference. "Historically, no probably not but our founding fathers were. We were founded on government but religion too and so we feel like that's a reason to keep it on the county."

For anyone to see the display you have to walk into the commissioners area. The display is about the size of a legal pad, so it's much smaller than the monument at the state capitol.

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