Local reaction to 10 Commandments decision decidedly positive
From Staff Reports

June 28, 2005 -- The display of the Ten Commandments on government property was ruled permissible by the United States Supreme Court Monday. The high court's 5-4 decision left future disputes over the display of the contentious church-state issue to be settled on a case-by-case basis.

''The court has found no single mechanical formula that can accurately draw the constitutional line in every case,'' wrote Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

Around the square in Sulphur Springs, Tom Davis, owner of Old Town Antique Mall, felt the display of the Ten Commandments should have never been challenged.

"When you lose the principles this country was founded on, OK, and the truth is this country was founded on Christian principles, and you've lost that foundation. The truth is you've lost God's covering over this nation," he said. "What's wrong if we have in the middle of the square or in the middle of the courthouse the 10 Commandments? Our laws are founded on the 10 Commandments."

News of the Supreme Court ruling was welcomed by Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap.

"As a matter of fact, I used to have the Ten Commandments hanging in my courtroom," he said. "The reason I had them hanging there was because I have always used them as a rule of law because it is incorporated in our laws, our statutes and some parts of them are in our Constitution."

Millsap said he has never found problems with having the commandments on display in or around the courthouse.

"It is the first rule of law that we have always gone by," he said. "I know there are people out there that, for whatever reason, don't want any religious emblems, but this is something in Hopkins County that we have always used as a point of law in raising our children and as our moral code or character."

Texas officials hailed the ruling the 5-4 decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 6-foot granite monument located between the state Capitol and the state Supreme Court building was constitutional. The court determined that the monument was a legitimate tribute to the nation's legal and religious history.

Robert Newsom, judge of the 8th Judicial District Court in Hopkins County, said the Ten Commandments have played a significant role in the state and nation.

"I am so thankful that the Supreme Court allowed our Texas display at our Capitol to remain because it is certainly a part of our history," Newsom said. "It is important for us to remember where the roots of this state and this nation lie."

Gov. Rick Perry said the ruling recognized that the Ten Commandments have religious significance and have helped shape laws.

''For 40 years, the Ten Commandments monument has stood on the Capitol grounds, reminding all visitors of their historical significance as well as their influence on the laws of our great state,'' Perry said.

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