Acknowledgment of Religion Is Not Establishment of Religion

Feb 25, 2005

With only five short days remaining before oral arguments in the Supreme Court case of McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, Mat Staver is concentrating on his final preparation for next week's oral arguments.

While Mat will argue that public displays of the Ten Commandments are constitutional, he will also propose a new test to the High Court to replace the current standard referred to as the Lemon test. The Lemon test has been the standard by which all church/state cases have been judged for the past thirty years, and has caused hopeless confusion and conflicting opinions from lower courts. The new test delineates between government acknowledgment of religion, which the Constitution permits, and true establishment of religion, which the Constitution forbids.

The final brief we submitted to the Court argues that, due to the historical significance of the Ten Commandments in American history, recognition of the Decalogue in the public square is a permissible acknowledgment of religion: "The Decalogue is a universal symbol of law and stands in a category with few peers. When displayed in a court setting, that setting itself gives the context of law."