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Separation of Church and State Debate?

I am doing a paper on the separation of Church and State debate.

Today, March 2, 2005 the issue of the Ten Commandments comes before the Supreme Court. What is the main question at the center of this battle? What are some of the arguments for and against keeping the Ten Commandments? Could you provide me with an overview of other similar cases, as well as the outcomes? This would be very helpful for my paper. Thanks.

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"I am doing a paper on the separation of Church and State. Today, March 2, 2005 the issue of the Ten Commandments comes before the Supreme Court. What is the main question at the center of this battle? What are some of the arguments for and against keeping the Ten Commandments? Could you provide me with an overview of other similar cases, as well as the outcomes? This would be very helpful for my paper. Thanks."

Response:

Interesting topic indeed. In fact, today's headline in the Religion News Service in Washington says this: The call "God save this honorable court" will echo throughout the chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 2, just as it does every time the court's marshall convenes a session for the nine justices.

But this time those words will uniquely resonate because the court is scheduled to hear arguments about an issue addressing God, government and the display of what many people consider heaven's essential set of instructions for humanity.
Two cases -- Van Orden v. Perry and McCreary v. American Civil Liberties Union -- both ask essentially the same question: Can the Ten Commandments grace public property without overstepping the First Amendment boundary that prohibits government from endorsing religion?

More than 55 amicus briefs have been filed on both sides of the issue, highlighting the fact that this isn't just a technical legal battle but also a stark divide in American society. The filers range from the Anti-Defamation League to the Baptist Joint Committee, from the Foundation for Moral Law to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The cases come at a crucial time. Lower courts across the country have been swept by litigation pertaining to religious symbolism:

-- In Los Angeles, a cross was removed from a county seal after a lawsuit was filed.
-- In San Francisco, a federal court is being sued for depicting the Ten Commandments on their official court seal.
-- In ...

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