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Introduction
Prohibitions on Display of the Ten Commandments
Damage to Religious Tolerance
Argument for Posting Based on False Premises
Ten Commandments Controversies
Conclusion



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Civil Rights  
The Ten Commandments Controversy:
A First Amendment Perspective

(revised 2005) RULE
Introduction

Posted: July 19, 2005

The Anti-Defamation League believes that the increasing call by private citizens and public officials for the government to post the Ten Commandments in schools, government buildings, courts and other public places -- while often well-intentioned - is bad policy and often unconstitutional. Governmental posting of the Ten Commandments can lead to the kind of religious divisions within otherwise harmonious communities that our founding fathers sought to avoid by constitutionally mandating the separation of church and state. Before embracing this easy fix for some of society's most intractable problems, communities should consider its consequences for one of America's most precious traditions: religious tolerance.

Next: Prohibitions on Display of the Ten Commandments


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2005 Anti-Defamation League