Ten Commandments Sign in Mississippi Courthouse Will Be Replaced with “In God We Trust” Banner

If you were to walk into the Itawamba County Courthouse in Mississippi anytime before last week, you’d see this sign hanging front and center:

ItawambaTenCommands

It’s not part of some historical display. It’s just a giant sign that says non-Christians aren’t going to get a fair shake under the law.

That’s why the Freedom From Religion Foundation recently pointed out the illegality of the sign, and they announced yesterday that the courthouse would be removing the sign.

But they’re replacing it with a banner that reads “In God We Trust.” Which is *totally* not religious in any way, shape, or form.

“The Supervisors of Itawamba County have been notified that the present display of the Ten Commandments by itself is a violation of U.S. Supreme Court ruling,” says an officially released statement. “After consulting with legal counsel, the present display of the Ten Commandments will be replaced with the national motto of the United States of America, ‘In God We Trust.'”

“We’re pleased that the County’s unconstitutional Ten Commandments display will be removed from the courthouse,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “But it’s regrettable that the county supervisors sought out another religious statement to replace the Ten Commandments. Elected officials should not use their government position and government buildings as a place for promoting their religious views.

Of course, we know that “In God We Trust” is just a legal loophole that allows government officials to promote Christianity under the guise of patriotism.

But residents aren’t smart enough to follow the script:

Even though they are upset, some residents says they are good with the “In God We Trust” display being chosen as the replacement because they’ll still have something to represent their beliefs, but they also think this entire issue shouldn’t be one at all.

One resident told WCBI-TV that FFRF had no right to demand anything of the courthouse:

“I think we should bond together and say nu-uh, you’re from somewhere else, this is our courthouse, not yours,” said Itawamba County resident, Elaine Smith.

That’s… not how the law works. FFRF isn’t swooping in from the outside. They’re representing someone on the inside.

If courthouse officials are doing something illegal, they need to be called out on it. And it’s very clear that individuals in Itawamba would receive all sorts of hell if they called out those officials by themselves. That’s why it’s better that FFRF is stepping in and taking the heat.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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