BLOGIf a Ten Commandments Monument Is Offensive, Avoid Washington, D.C.

By Sarah Kramer Posted on: | September 22, 2017

If you’ve ever taken a tour of the monuments in Washington, D.C., chances are that you have been exposed to religious words and symbols.

These depictions represent the religious heritage of this nation. But there seems to be growing sentiment that we erase all mention of religion from our nation’s history.

That’s what two residents seem to be trying to do in Bloomfield, New Mexico, where they have filed a lawsuit against the city because a Ten Commandments monument sits on the city hall lawn. It is displayed there with several other monuments that are paid for by private citizens.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys and co-counsel, Wilmar Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP, have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, and today they filed a reply brief in support of that request.

The ACLU is defending the two local residents who claim that this Ten Commandments monument is offensive to them and that it represents a government establishment of religion. They are asking the Supreme Court to adopt a “test” that would allow any town residents who see a monument to sue their home cities that have monuments with religious significance.

Well, I hope they never visit Washington, D.C. Here are just a few references to our religious heritage – specifically regarding Moses and the Ten Commandments – that you might see walking around our nation’s capital:


Moses is featured in a sculpture on the East side of the Supreme Court building.

Moses is included in a sculpture on the East side of the building, where “the marble figures represent great lawgivers.”


Moses appears in the House Chamber in the Capitol building.

Moses is one of 23 marble portraits displayed in the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol. These portraits “depict historical figures noted for their work in establishing the principles that underlie American law.”


Moses holding the 10 Commandments in the courtroom of the Supreme Court.

The artist “designed a procession of ‘great lawgivers of history’ for the south and north walls to portray the development of law.”


The ACLU also wants the Court to adopt a test for evaluating monuments that really isn’t a test at all. It would allow courts to decide the legality of monuments acknowledging our religious heritage on a case-by-case basis. This provides no guidance to government officials who want to comply with the law, and gives anti-religion advocates freedom to roam around the country challenging any monument that offends them.

We should all be able to acknowledge the role that religion has played in the history of our law and in the history of our country without being offended. And even if we are offended, that should certainly not be the criteria for determining what monuments we can display.


To stay up to date on this case and the other ADF cases as the U.S. Supreme Court, sign up for our newsletter.
Keep Me Updated

Sarah Kramer

Digital Content Specialist

Sarah worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.

More from ADF View All

When the Heavy Hand of Government Gets to Decide What’s Religious and What’s Not

Religious Freedom

When the Heavy Hand of Government Gets to Decide What’s Religious and What’s Not

The government doesn’t get to classify an organization’s activities as being ...

Mr. Funny | Words | Author | I'm the icon | www | 07/18/2018 20:43:41 Read More

What Today’s Colleges Fail to Grasp about Free Speech on Campus

Religious Freedom

What Today’s Colleges Fail to Grasp about Free Speech on Campus

The idea of a university is that various disciplines can find a single space ...

Mr. Funny | Words | Author | I'm the icon | www | 07/16/2018 23:21:21 Read More

How a Proactive Defense of Freedom Took Us to the Supreme Court

Sanctity of Life

How a Proactive Defense of Freedom Took Us to the Supreme Court

We can no longer settle for playing defense when it comes to our religious fr...

Mr. Funny | Words | Author | I'm the icon | www | 07/17/2018 17:45:00 Read More

Careful, Mainstream Media, Your Anti-Catholic Bias Is Showing

Culture

Careful, Mainstream Media, Your Anti-Catholic Bias Is Showing

The religious affiliation of a judicial nominee shouldn’t matter, but the man...

Mr. Funny | Words | Author | I'm the icon | www | 07/19/2018 16:30:00 Read More