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Somersworth restores Ten Commandments monument

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On Tuesday, September 6 the Somersworth City Council voted to reinstall a monument to the Ten Commandments that was vandalized in August.

The monument was gift from the fraternal Order of the Eagles in 1958.  It sits in a traffic island outside City Hall.  When the monument was originally erected, City Hall was located in a different part of the city

Supporters of restoring the monument argue that because the city did not pay for the monument, it does not violate the separation of church and state.  Two flags and a plaque will also be installed on the island, explaining the history of the monument.

Opponents of restoring the monument argue it is a clear violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.

“Democracy is not about majority rule, it is the rights of the minority being protected against the tyranny of the majority,” said Somersworth City Councilor Jennifer Soldati. “I understand the sentimentality, I get it. But I am a staunch believer in our constitution and I do believe that we are in violation.”

In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a similar monument in Texas because it had historical, not just religious, value.  Since then, lower courts have still ruled that other Ten Commandments monuments violate the separation of church and state. 

Do you think Somersworth should reinstall the monument to the Ten Commandments?  Let us know in the comments.



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