Klan Sect Defends Commandments

A splinter group of the Ku Klux Klan is standing up to defend the Ten Commandments possibly being taken down from the Barrow County Courthouse.

The rally, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Friday, could potentially bring together many dissimilar groups, with invitations going out to members of the House of Prayer, a predominantly Black congregation in Atlanta.

Still, the prickly topic has divided, more than united, people in recent years as evidenced in recent actions taken by the American Civil Liberties Union. It filed a federal lawsuit against the Ten Commandments being displayed in the Barrow County Courthouse.

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ACLU members contend the display violates the separation of church and state as specified in the U.S. Constitution.

In light of such actions, Monica Goldsmith, a supporter of the display, said enough is enough.

“We just feel like we’ve been silent too long. We need to come out and make our voices heard,” she said.

Barrow County Chairman Walter Eddie Elder said, “I would like to see it posted in every house, in every business and on every billboard in Barrow County and burned into the hearts of every one of us.”

Recently, Alan Keyes, a former ambassador to the United Nations, vehemently preached during an outdoor rally in front of the Barrow courthouse. Hundreds gathered to support the county commissioner’s refusal to remove the Ten Commandments.

“You can take this issue to any federal judge you want. You can take it to the federal judges, you can take it to the federal court, you can take it to the Supreme Court, they have no authority,” Keyes said.

“The authority is in our hands,” he said.

However, others point to America being founded on the principle of religious freedom and personal liberty.

John Elliott, of the Atlanta Interfaith Alliance, said, “The system was set up to ensure the rights of the minorities. Not just to be run roughshod over the majority.”

Battlelines are drawn in Barrow County and neither side seems ready to budge.

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Sep. 26, 2003

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