Reagan Judge Sides with Wiccans to Remove Ten Commandments from City Property


MonumentBLOOMFIELD, N.M. – A  judge nominated by then-President Ronald Reagan has sided with two New Mexico Wiccans and has ordered that a Ten Commandments monument must be removed from city property because it endorses Christianity.

U.S. District Judge James A. Parker issued his ruling on Thursday, stating that the 3,000-pound monument violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as it constituted a government “establishment of religion.”

“In view of the circumstances surrounding the context, history, and purpose of the Ten Commandments monument, it is clear that the City of Bloomfield has violated the Establishment Clause because its conduct in authorizing the continued display of the monument on City property has had the primary or principal effect of endorsing religion,” he wrote.

The monument had been erected in 2011 following a resolution allowing private citizens to place historical displays at Bloomfield City Hall. A former city council member had proposed the monument four years prior, which was then approved by city council but paid for with private money.

“Presented to the people of San Juan County by private citizens recognizing the significance of these laws on our nation’s history,” the monument read, which was unveiled during a special ceremony on Independence Day 2011.

But Wiccans Jane Felix and Buford Coone of the Order of the Cauldron of the Sage felt offended by the monument and contacted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for assistance.

“Our clients who are not Christians, they took issue with this and it made them feel alienated from their community,” Alexandra Smith, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico, told local television station KRQE.

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The organization filed a lawsuit against the city in 2012, asserting that the monument’s presence on government property amounts to the government endorsement of religion. While the city argued before the court that the monument was historical in nature, the ACLU contended that the content of the Commandments themselves is blatantly religious.

“One of the commandments is thou shalt put no gods before me. This is clearly not a historical document, but is in fact religious doctrine,” Smith stated.

On Thursday, Parker agreed and ordered that the monument be removed by September 1oth, pending appeal.

Mayor Scott Eckstein told the Farmington Daily Times that he was disappointed in the outcome of the decision.

“I am surprised and had never really considered the judge ruling against it because it’s a historical document just like the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights,” he stated. “The intent from the beginning was that the lawn was going to be used for historical purposes, and that’s what the council voted on.”

The city hall lawn also features monuments to the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the Bill of Rights.

The Bloomfield city attorney is now considering whether to file an appeal in the matter.

 

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  • Jim Seufert

    As usual , Christians still believe that the universe revolves around them and only them. Self centered intolerance should have been commandment eleven. First, this is not a historical monument since the bible is a twisted work of fiction.
    Second, the United States was NOT formed as a Christian or Christian nation only.
    The Founding Fathers were NOT Christians and the Constitution was NOT based on any religious documents , much less one as worthless as the lame ten commandments.
    You people should really try to educate yourselves instead of continuing to listen to your wealthy preachers and religious figureheads. They are charlatans, conmen and theives preying on gullible people, like yourselves, that will happily believe anything…talking snakes, creation myths and zombies walking the earth. Try joining the real world instead of the sick alternate reality you have your heads buried in.

  • DD Wilbourn

    2014, the year of lawsuits based on bigotry, immoral, lawless, power-mad judges and politicians, hate and blasphemy against God, Christian persecution, war and genocide, all fueled by rampant evil spreading like wildfire over the entire world. The father of lies must be so proud, but his gloating will be cut short because we as Christians know that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is victorious in the end. Praise be to God!

  • PENNY

    Tell you what…if its not of the one true GOD, the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. .then its totally of the devil..oh ..one more what..the anti God going on in this country has totally damned this country..so when things really get bad..and its coming soon..the likes of wiccan,isis, obama can be thanked for the hell about to unleash on what was and what should still be..A CHRISTIAN NATION..ONE NATION UNDER GOD..I AM SOOOOO ANGRY. .IM NOT PERFECT AT ALL..I SCREW UP DAILY..BUT I PRAISE THE LORD FOR GIVING ME THE CHANCE NOT TO BURN IN HELL..FOR ETERNITY..ITS NOT LIKE YOU HAVE THE FLU AND IT WILL GO AWAY..HELL IS FOREVER AND THERES NO GET OUT OF HELL FREE CARD..OK NO MORE SOAP BOX..IF I DIDNT CARE FOR EVERYONE..I WOULD KEEP QUIET…SO STOP THE STUPIDITY AND LET CHRISTIANS BE..AMEN

  • Martin

    how many times are people going to say that, when it comes to healing, it is down to good living, timing to heal, and other things? prayer is a powerful tool for Christians to use, some use it to great benefit, others don’t, some would say, if it doesn’t happen immediately, then GOD is not there, and lose their faith because of it? how many times has SATAN healed a person by them praying to him? how many people can say they have been healed after praying to JESUS to be healed for something they have or had? I’ve seen and been the recipient of quite a few healings in my time :) how many wiccans have been healed by their faith to SATAN?

  • Joyce

    The fact is.. Separation of church and state was designed to keep the state out of religion, not the other way around.
    Our nation was started with Christian values as a base. They are also the core of morality. If you take these values
    Out of government, it causes immorality and lawlessness. You then have a breakdown of government. Life only lasts for a season without morality. That’s sin. It looks good for a while, but it will fade.