Humanist Drops Case Seeking Removal of Ten Commandments Outside Maryland Courthouse

Commandments-compressedBALTIMORE, Md. — A Maryland humanist who had filed a federal lawsuit in seeking the removal of a Ten Commandments monument outside of a county courthouse has now dropped his legal challenge.

As previously reported, Jeffrey Davis, an emergency room physician, had filed the suit in March over his offense with the display, which he also deemed to be unconstitutional.

“Plaintiff believes that the monument represents only one particular religious point of view and therefore sends a message of exclusion to those who do not adhere to that particular religion (Christianity), in violation of the U.S. Constitution,” the lawsuit read. “Plaintiff does not want to have exposure to the monument on government property in the future.”

The monument at issue was erected at the Allegany County courthouse in 1957 after being donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles. It sits not far from another monument honoring the nation’s first president, George Washington.

Davis first called for the removal of the monument in 2004, and while his request was granted, the display was restored within days following a public outcry.

The following year, he formed the group Citizens for a Secular Government and sought to place his own monument at the courthouse, but his effort was unsuccessful.

Last month, the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a motion for dismissal of Davis’ March suit, noting that a nearly identical monument was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Connect with Christian News

“[H]is broad stroke recitation of the elements of an Establishment Clause claim does not survive Van Orden, where the Supreme Court made abundantly clear that the presence of a Ten Commandments monument identical to the one at issue here—indeed, one that, like here, was donated by the Eagles—on public lands is not itself a violation of the Establishment Clause,” it wrote.

The cited case is 2005 decision of Van Orden v. Perry, which centered around a display at the Texas state capitol building.

On Monday, Davis filed a letter in U.S. District Court advising that he had decided to drop the case. No explanation was provided and he declined to speak with the Associated Press about his reasoning.

“The emotional response of an offended passerby doesn’t automatically amount to a violation of the Establishment Clause,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brett Harvey in a statement. “Mr. Davis was right to end his quest to uproot this monument, which is virtually identical to a monument in Texas that the U.S. Supreme Court already upheld. Because the county’s monument would survive constitutional scrutiny, we are pleased that it will be able to stay.”

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization—not upon the power of government, far from it—we’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity … to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God,” said Founding Father James Madison in a 1778 address to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia.

A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, because of your generous support, we have received enough funds to send many audio Bibles to Iraqi and Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS in the Middle East. Many have been distributed and received with gladness. While we provide for the physical needs of the people, we seek to provide the eternal hope only found in Jesus Christ through the word of God. Would you join us by making a donation today to this important work? Please click here to send an audio Bible to a refugee family >>

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Grace Kim Kwon

    The Ten Commandments are the lawfulness itself of the USA and therefore of the entire world. God’s laws must never be removed; the world will be perverse and lawless without the Word of God. Humanists blaspheme, kill babies, and promote suicide and depraved immorality among mankind. Without the Ten Commandments, mankind will be slaves to villains again. The Holy Bible alone beats bad humans and brings truth and liberty to anyone who reads it.

  • Robert

    It’s nice to see them in stone yet there all ready written in the stone of even hard hearted human hearts according to the bible

  • Robert

    The saints also need the ten commandments because we’re sinners at he same time yes the police is needed because the saints sin to. We also commit murders or n danger people by breaking all kinds of laws speeding laws even texting while driving or driving drunk. The saints steal all sorts of things to from sermons to CD.s to copy write material

  • james blue

    Expect the goatman statue in the near future.

  • Gena B

    It does not matter how moral people are, the policeman who is a nice guy who doesn’t believe is facing the wrath of God just like the atheist who is hostile to God, both are headed south, knowing Jesus is what matters. We can hope people use common sense and the ten commandments seems like good common sense to me even if they choose not to believe in God.