Laurence Hammack, who has been covering the legal arguments over posting the 10 Commandments in a Giles County public school, today spoke to Republican U.S. Senate candidate E.W. Jackson after a news conference about the issue.
The legal issue of whether a copy of the Ten Commandments should be posted in a Giles County school became a political one today.
Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia, held a news conference this afternoon in Pearisburg to offer his views on the dispute.
Jackson said he thinks a lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a student at Narrows High School upset by the display, should be dismissed.
He called the lawsuit, and a recent suggestion by U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski that the first four of the commandments be redacted to convey a more secular message, just the latest in a long list of government intrusions into people’s religious freedoms.
“We’re simply not going to be backed into a corner any longer and be told that the mere mention of God is a violation of who we are as Americans,” Jackson said in a telephone interview following the media event.
Courts have held that the posting of the Ten Commandments in a public school violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits government from endorsing one religion over another.
“I think there’s a lot of wrong-headed judicial precedent that has been going on for a long time,” Jackson said.
Jackson is one of four candidates — including former Sen. George Allen, state Del. Bob Marshall of Prince William County and Virginia tea party leader Jamie Radtke — seeking the Republican nomination to run for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat.
– Laurence Hammack