FFRF Files Another Ten Commandments Suit

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed suit against another school, this one in Pennsylvania, that has a Ten Commandments monument near its front entrance. Like most such monuments, it was donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles. And apparently, the school originally agreed to remove it until the good Christian folk of the area got their dander up over it:

Pittsburgh-based attorney Marcus Schneider represents the plaintiffs. He wrote to Superintendent Dan Lujetic on Aug. 29 demanding that the district “permanently remove the Ten Commandments monument from school property” and provide notice of removal to Schneider by Sept. 7 or FFRF would file suit.

The district promptly contacted Schneider, agreeing to remove the marker. It was first covered with plastic and later with plywood, although vandals apparently removed both materials several times.

After at least two rallies were held in favor of keeping the momument and intense public pressure, the school board voted Sept. 12 to “delay any further action concerning moving the monument from its current location . . . until further notice and pending further legal action.”

On Sept. 14, a large wooden box was used to cover the entire monument.

You can read the full complaint here. They are also asking the judge to grant the plaintiffs the right to file anonymously out of fear of retaliation, which should be granted immediately (and to every plaintiff in such cases, if they request it) due to the long history of intimidation and violence that is almost invariably aimed at those who challenge Christian hegemony.

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  • Yet another school system wasting money on a lawsuit it will clearly lose. The people defending the monument are clueless idiots. Once they have made their point, gone to court and lost, the children in the district will suffer as there is less money available for programs. So upsetting.

  • jaybee

    But you don’t understand. Unless the good, pious people of this school district don’t do everything in their power to defend this monument, then Jesus will know that they secretly aren’t completely in love with Him, and He will send a hurricane to smite them … in Pennsylvania.

  • eric

    At least the Superintendent was willing to do the right thing in this case, its just the board preventing the move.

  • regexp

    Looking at the Fraternal Order of Eagles website they list their motto as “People helping People” and list the following as their accomplishments:

    Founded Mother’s Day

    Served as driving force in founding Social Security Program

    Helped end job discrimination based on age with the “Jobs After 40” Program

    Distributed Ten Commandments monoliths and fought to keep the Commandments in public places

    I’m struggling to figure out how that last point fits with their motto. They also appear to sponsor race cars – again – not seeing how that fits with their motto.

  • dingojack

    FoAW notes:

    “Frank E. Hering, President of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, made a plea for ‘a national day to honor our mothers’ in 1904.

    Jarvis never mentioned Howe or Mothering Sunday, and she never mentioned any connection to the Protestant school celebrations; always claiming that the creation of Mother’s Day was hers alone.”

    Can you spell ‘pants on fire’ boys and girls?


  • parkjames “The people defending the monument are clueless idiots.”

    The term is “Values Voters”.

  • dingojack

    I heard the Fraternal Order of Eagles issued a proclamation, in the late 90’s, that it would a good thing if people could communicate using this new-fangled electricity stuff –

    Therefore the FOoE invented the Internet!!!!

    @@ Dingo

  • John Hinkle

    The school board can use either the one step or three step method to deal with this:

    1) Back down and curse Obama for smiting their religious freedom with his Mighty Gauntlet of Constitutional Spikes (and +1 Rainbow Wrist Band).


    1) Go to court.

    2) Lose and cough up the dough.

    3) Curse Obama for smiting their religious freedom with his Mighty Gauntlet of Constitutional Spikes (and +1 Rainbow Wrist Band).


    In terms of time, effort and money, they can achieve their goal of cursing Obama more economically by using the one step method.

  • abb3w

    One difficult bit in the lawsuit is they’re apparently now asking that the monument also not be displayed near to the school properties. The original plan that some bright citizen had was for the school to donate it to the nearby Connellsville Church of God, who would display it (prominently lit up) next to the football field that the school district rents from them. (FRFF Complaint, items 40-44.)

    The FRFF thinks the District wink-and-nod willingness to go along with this isn’t kosher. Unfortunately, I’m not sure they can prevail on that point in a court of law. I’m afraid the district may well be able to spin it as an attempt to find a compromise position that meets the technical requirements of Church/State separation and the political support of the local population’s (Christian) majority.

    The best chance on that front would be to try to find a Christian church within the district (but further off from the schools) that supports Church-State separation, and have them also ask for the monument.

  • Sastra

    One of these days, I’d love to see an underground posse of atheists retaliate by slipping out stealthily one night and surreptitiously placing dozens and dozens of Ten Commandment plaques in Christian yards all over one of these cities. Each sign would have, written on the back, the words “THIS is where the Ten Commandments belong: private property — not government buildings!”

    What would the good Christians do, when confronted by this strange act of ‘vandalism?’ What could they say? They couldn’t frame it as nonbelievers taking away their religious freedom, or atheists offended by the mere presence of the Ten Commandments. Obviously not. Most of the usual talking points are nonstarters. And how would they then treat the Divine Commands of God which have been dumped on their lawns? Rip them out in fury? That’s going to seem counter-intuitive. Create little displays to surround the holy relics? Now they’re thanking the atheists for their gift.

    Whatever happened … would be interesting.

  • garnetstar

    Ed, I see that the main problem you will have in writing your book is that you’ll be drowning in subject material. Just to keep up with the numbers of plaintiffs challenging Christian hegemony who suffer intimidation or violence will keep you busy for years, possibly decades.