Ten Commandments Defense Group Forms in PA

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed suit over a Ten Commandments monument at the entrance of a public school in Connellsville, Pennsylvania and — predictably — local residents have formed a group to fight it. They call themselves Thou Shalt Not Move. And they’re raising money to distribute similar monuments to churches in the city.

On June 29, the Thou Shall Not Move committee will hold a special event at the Fraternal Order of Eagles on Arch Street to celebrate the placement of the first stone Ten Commandments monument.

The group is dedicated to doing what it can to ensure the Ten Commandments monument remains on Connellsville Area School District property in the face of a federal lawsuit filed in September against the district that claims the monolith installed there 57 years ago violates the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.

The Thou Shall Not Move committee has agreed to use funds from the sale of Ten Commandments yard signs to pay for the placement of stone monuments at churches that want one…

There are about 25 churches on the list to get a monument placed on their properties.

Hey, knock yourself out. That’s where such signs and monuments belong, on private property and in front of churches. They do not belong in front of a public school. The good news is that the judge has agreed to allow the plaintiffs to remain anonymous:

U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry ordered in April that discovery should be completed by Aug. 23. McVerry ruled last week that the student and parent — Doe 4 and 5, respectively — can remain anonymous throughout the proceedings.

“There is a substantial public interest in ensuring that litigants not face … retribution in their attempt to seek redress for what they view as a constitutional violation,” the judge wrote in an opinion.

The good news here is that, unlike in many other cases, the school did not object to the plaintiffs retaining their anonymity. Why? Because they’re represented by a private attorney, not Liberty Counsel or other Christian right legal firm.

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  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    But… But….surely the (sort-of-dependin-on-how-you-artificially-divide-them) ten commandments are pretty well indefensible?

  • eric

    They call themselves Thou Shalt Not Move.

    I admit it, I Lol’d.

    They seemed to have missed the irony in choosing a name that reflects stasis/status quo when their mission is to add monuments to places. Though I guess Thou Shalt Not Oppose New Construction doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Now the only question is, who in the community will be the first to “accidentally” release the names of the plaintiffs?

  • tuxedocartman

    Way off topic, but Ed: the ads for CCW Safe that are appearing on this site are downright offensive. I’m used to seeing pro-Christian ads on here and all, and even deal with the pop-under ads… but an ad depicting faceless black hands grabbing the head and shirt of a white man in his vehicle, as he’s pulling his gun, for services described as “Protecting those who carry concealed against administrative, criminal, and civil actions”… it just feels a little too close in relation to the Zimmerman/ Martin case, to say nothing of perpetuating the “scary black menace” idiocy. If its possible, would you consider taking that one down?

  • jazzbot

    And the people will ask “Why now, when the monument has been there for the past 57 years?” They never seem to realize or admit to the fact that the non-religious minority or other religious minority citizens of this country have been mostly afraid to speak out against such monuments on public property (even school lots) because of the harassment they’d inevitably receive from their christian majority neighbors. Now things are slowly changing, and they miss the good old days.

  • Johnny Vector

    Maybe they’ll update their name as they exhaust their legal appeals…


    Thou Shalt not Move

    None Shall Pass

    Tis but a Scratch

    Come Back Here I’ll Bite Your Leg Off!

  • Artor

    Tuxedocartman, Ed has explained many times before that he has no control over what ads pop up on his site. They are selected by a bot that scans for key words. Ed writes a lot about civil liberties, so the adbots assume everyone here is a libertarian Teabagger. As many readers have advised before, get the Adblocker plugin for your browser, and most of that garbage will disappear.

  • Artor

    Jazzbot, yes. 57 years ago is 1956, 6 years after Joe McCarthy produced his grocery list in Congress and claimed he had the names of all the communists in the gov’t. Saying anything about an Xtian monument at the time would have you branded as a traitor, a communist, and probably a devil-worshipper. It was still unconstitutional back then, but now that we’re (the sane among us at least) past the Red Scare, we should be rectifying the abuses of the past, not institutionalizing them because of their posterity.

  • http://windaelicker.worpress.com mikmik

    What happened to “Thou shall not covet thy public spaces?”

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    They should be allowed to keep it on the public school grounds. Just move it to the middle of the football field. After a few injuries, it’ll disappear, helped no doubt by some of the people who wanted it to stay in the first place.

  • Rupi Capra

    1956 is when “The Ten Commandments” movie came out. Cecil B. Demille put up a lot of these around the country as a publicity stunt.

  • oranje

    To add to what tuxedocartman said, I keep getting ads for the Kansas City Royals. As a baseball fan, that offends me


    It’s an odd sort of validation some people need, where their beliefs have to be reflected in all civic institutions. Maybe I’m not being fair with that, but I’ve also never seen where the foundation of our laws/morality is in the ten commandments. They do fit the 50’s patriarchy quite well, though.

  • Moggie

    Eppur si muove.

    I want the names of those godless churches which ask for these monuments, because clearly they’ve been slacking on the ten commandments front until now.

    And perhaps the FFRF should announce that they’re in favour of those monuments in churches. Maybe even make a donation!

  • Larry

    So have the incidences of coveting the neighbor’s wife or man-servant been reduced amongst the school’s students since the monument was installed? I’m sure the lord’s name hasn’t been taken in vain at the school in some time.

  • http://composer99.blogspot.ca composer99

    Maybe this should be their catchphrase?

  • Tsu Dho Nimh

    @11 – WTF? You mean the elite Hollywood godless liberal entertainment industry put them there?

    http://www.jdate.com/jmag/2011/04/the-film-that-launched-a-thousand-court-cases/ some of them, anyway.

    “DeMille persuaded Paramount to pay for granite monoliths of the Ten Commandments to be placed in public squares across the country. Over 4,000 were made.” Or maybe a whole lot of them!

    Can anyone find the list?