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by Stephanie Weintraub, Dr. Ron Paul
Friday, Aug. 29, 2003 at 3:50 AM
"The real tragedy is that our founders did not intend a separation of church and state, and never envisioned a rigidly secular public life for America." -- Texas Rep. Ron Paul (Republican-Libertarian)
Courthouse Bible sparks dispute - Pastor says fight over local display akin to Alabama struggle
Stephanie Weintraub, Houston Chronicle, August 27, 2003
The Bible in front of Harris County's courthouse downtown may be part of a monument to a long-dead Houston philanthropist, but to Houston pastor Aubrey Vaughan it's a religious symbol that's as much under siege as the Ten Commandments in Alabama. "In principle, spiritually, it's the same fight," said Vaughn, who Tuesday joined members of his Grace Baptist Church congregation at the civil courthouse to pray for keeping the monument, which contains a King James Bible.
Vaughn was arrested and jailed Aug. 20 in Alabama, where he had gone to support Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. The judge had challenged a court order to remove a monument bearing the Ten Commandments and spurred a national controversy over intermingling government and religion. Vaughn called on all Houston churches Tuesday to pray in similar fashion for the right to keep God in government and for passage of a bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, that seeks to defend the Ten Commandments.
Kay Staley of Houston, inspired by the uproar over the Ten Commandments, filed suit in federal court Monday to remove the Bible because she says it violates separation of church and state. The monument's existence in front of the courthouse "is against the law," said Staley, a lawyer and real estate agent.
Vaughn views the separation of religion and government differently. "Separation of church and state is not separation of God and state," he said.
County Judge Robert Eckels supports keeping the local monument -- which was built in 1956 for the industrialist William Mosher -- intact. The local case is about a monument that honors a citizen, which is different from the controversy in Alabama, Eckels said.
Staley's attorney, Randall Kallinen, a civil rights lawyer, said the monument containing the open Bible violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says government cannot establish religion. He plans to file a temporary restraining order to expedite its removal. "It (the Bible) is the actual holy book of Christianity," he said.
see - http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/2068064
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Congressman Ron Paul (TX-Republican), August 12, 2003
"The real tragedy is that our founders did not intend a separation of church and state, and never envisioned a rigidly secular public life for America. They simply wanted to prevent Congress from establishing a state religion, as England had. The First amendment says "Congress shall make no law" - a phrase that cannot possibly be interpreted to apply to the city of San Diego. But the phony activist "separation" doctrine leads to perverse outcomes like the eviction of Boy Scouts from city parks.
These are but two recent examples. There are many more, including the case of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was ordered by a federal court to remove a Ten Commandments monument from Alabama courthouse property."
see - http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul120.html
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