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Klan Sect Delays Commandments Rally

Associated Press, USA
Sep. 19, 2003 • Friday September 19, 2003

WINDER, Ga. (AP) — The head of a Ku Klux Klan splinter group has postponed a Saturday rally in support of keeping a copy of the Ten Commandments hanging in the Barrow County courthouse.

Joseph J. Harper of Cordele, the self-described imperial wizard of the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, said he decided to push the rally back to Sept. 27 after his wife became ill.

Harper is protesting a federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union to force the county to remove the framed parchment copy of the Ten Commandments from the courthouse. The ACLU says the display infringes on constitutional rights to be free from government-sponsored religion.

Harper had invited members of the House of Prayer, a predominantly black church in Atlanta, to join him at the rally. The House of Prayer received national attention when the Rev. Arthur Allen Jr. and four church members were convicted in October of aggravated assault and cruelty to children for whipping two boys.

A woman who answered the telephone at the church Wednesday said members plan to join Harper’s rally.

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