Commandments, Wants, and Wishes

   Credit should be given to U. S. District Court Judge Karl Forester (Chief Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky) for his timely and correct ruling on August 22, 2002 (reported in many recent news reports) that allowed the Ten Commandments to remain in the "Foundations of Law and Government" displays, consisting of copies of the Ten Commandments as well as other documents pertinent to American legal and political history (such as the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights), which are displayed in courthouses in Mercer County and Rowan County, Kentucky.

    According to news reports, Judge Forester acknowledged that the Ten Commandments significantly influenced the development of Western culture.  The judge was quoted as saying, that though opponents of the Ten Commandments who sought their removal wished that the historical significance of the Commandments wasn't so, yet their "wishes cannot change history."  We at the Belcher Foundation certainly agree with Judge Forester's statement (see our prior articles Good Cheer Signs for All Times and Ten Commandments Issue Unresolved in the Belcher Foundation Christian Law Library).

    Judge Forester's ruling correctly sticks to the facts--not wants and wishes.  Merely because the oft-misused phrase "separation of church and state" is invoked by many to elevate wishes over facts does not make their viewpoint true.

    Read Judge Forester's September 6, 2002 opinion in American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky v. Mercer County, Kentucky, 219 F.Supp.2d 777 (E.D. Ky. 2002).

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