Ten Commandments display
Sullivan County Courthouse
Deist suggests using Hebrew on plaque
Bristol Herald Courier 7/22/99
BLOUNTVILLE Bristol Virginia deist Lewis Loflin urged the Sullivan County Commission
Monday to amend its approval of a Ten Commandments plaque that will be placed in
the old County Courthouse. Loflin suggested during the public comment section of
the commission meeting that the most ancient Hebrew text available be used
instead of an English version.
The Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights will also be displayed on the plaque. Commissioners did not respond to Loflin's request and there was no discussion of the plaque during the meeting.
Loflin has threatened to sue the county if the plaque, to be paid for by the Sullivan Baptist Association, is allowed, but one that he proposed is not.
Commissioner Mike Gonce of Indian Springs last month asked County Attorney Dan Street to check into whether the county could sue Loflin for libel and slander after Loflin criticized the commission for approving the plaque. Street said he was not asked to make the recommendation Monday, but that it would have been not to sue.
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Quoting the Kingsport Times-News (1-18-2004)
Sullivan County Tennessee attorney Dan Street on the Ten Commandments,
"It seems clearer and clearer and clearer that we are promoting a particular religion, and that's a violation of the Constitution. The Constitution is the one document that protects minorities, and just because most people feel the Christian faith or the Jewish faith is the right faith, that doesn't mean they have a right to impose it on everyone else.
Plenty of Christians and Jews who may follow the Ten Commandments, but don't believe they should be displayed in public buildings. Most of the time, however, those people don't come forward with their opinion because they are afraid of being chastised. People think if you want the Ten Commandments down you're an atheist, and that's just not true.
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