AU Protests Commandments In Tennessee Courthouse

A Ten Commandments display in a Tennessee courthouse should be removed, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The Commandments plaque in the Johnson County Courthouse is displayed alone and was installed within the past several years. Commandments displays in public buildings have only been upheld by the courts if they are incorporated into a broader display with a secular message or if the display has historical significance.

In an Aug. 28 letter, Americans United attorneys advised County Mayor Dick Grayson that local officials risk legal liability unless the situation is corrected.

AU also urged the county not to retaliate against those exercising their constitutional rights by opposing the plaque. In the past, one commissioner reportedly threatened to retaliate if a complaint was made.

At a commission meeting in early September, Grayson said he is discussing the issue with a group in Washington, D.C., and said, “It is not going to be an easy battle.”