Freethinkers give up 10 Commandments fight

Oct. 27, 2005 at 5:55 PM

FARGO, N.D., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Members of the Red River Freethinkers have abandoned their battle against a Ten Commandments monument outside Fargo, N.D., City Hall.

A federal judge ruled in late September that the monument, donated almost 50 years ago by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, meets the test of combining a secular purpose with its religious message. Jon Lindgren, who served as mayor of the city from 1978 to 1994, said he and the other plaintiffs had decided they were unlikely to win a reversal in an appellate court.

"It was really disappointing to lose the decision, but that's what happened," Lindgren told the Fargo Forum.

The judge cited a similar dispute over a monument in a Nebraska park.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this year that former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore stepped over the line when he insisted on placing a large Ten Commandments monument in the courthouse. But the court ruled that a monument donated in the 1950s -- as part of a publicity campaign for the movie "The Ten Commandments" -- may remain on public land in Texas because it was combined with other monuments celebrating law.

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