“choosing your religion”. RICHMOND, VA

9 May

“choosing your religion”.

Will the “Ten Commandments” be reduced to “six” in a Virginia school? A federal judge made that suggestion, to try and end a longstanding legal battle.

That legal battle persists to this day. Neither side can find common ground. And so now they enter a new phase…with some new numbers.

Ask any random person this question, and nobody gets it wrong.

ANDY: “How many commandments are there?”
LADIES: “10 commandments.”
ANDY: “Are you sure?”
LADIES: “Yes.”

But somebody’s going to win a case outside of Roanoke that has national ramifications.

The scene is Narrows High School, in rural Giles County. For years, the school displayed the Ten Commandments, until a parent sued…calling for the separation of church and state.

So a federal judge, Monday, suggested the school take the Ten Commandments, down to six. In other words, removing the four that clearly mention God and the Sabbath.

Carl Tobias is a law professor at the University of Richmond.

“I don’t think it was a joke. I think the judge is very serious. I think he’s really wrestling with a very difficult case,” Tobias said.

The school argues the Ten Commandments were part of a larger display of historical documents. Instead of making a ruling, the judge sent the case to mediation, rather than a more rigorous and expensive hearing. Tobias believes the two sides will remain deadlocked. A bit of irony…in a case where the outcome is anything but set in stone.

“That’s the whole idea that the framers had, was to keep the government out of religious disputes of this sort,” Tobias added.

It’s unclear if either side is “okay” with the idea of six commandments. But they’ll negotiate that with the mediator…outside of the confines of a traditional courtroom hearing. If mediation fails…the case will likely go back to the federal judge for a ruling.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.


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