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Officials react to commandments argument

  |   March 2, 2005 at 7:55 PM
WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court heard argument Wednesday concerning displays of the Ten Commandments on public property and quickly both sides began speaking out.

"The Ten Commandments play an important part in the spiritual lives of many Americans and it is precisely for this reason that the government should not be in the business of endorsing or promoting religious beliefs," said David Friedman of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, who argued before the high court.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said, "This is an important case that will consider the people's right to display our nation's most revered documents in public squares across America. But even having the case is an unfortunate result of an even broader, more systemic problem: the unjustifiable hostility to religious expression in public squares across America."

Even before the argument, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said: "I hope the Supreme Court will finally read the Constitution and see there's no such thing, or no mention, of separation of church and state in the Constitution."

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