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Old 05-08-2007, 04:44 PM
stlouis's Avatar
stlouis stlouis is offline
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Default A Cause Limiting Usa

This is scary and sad, though not unexpected. Please note what the state law already allows... paragrqaph six... and recognize the truth of the attempt.
Am praying...

RALEIGH, N.C. ? A court hearing Tuesday could determine if the Bible will remain the exclusive text used in North Carolina for swearing-in court witnesses or whether other religious texts will be allowed.

Arguments were scheduled in Wake County Superior Court in a lawsuit challenging a state policy that allows only the Bible to be used in such court procedures. The suit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina and names Syidah Mateen, a Muslim woman who said she was denied the use of the Koran in court.

"This is an important issue that affects thousands of people of faith across North Carolina who are not of the Christian faith," Seth Cohen, the ACLU's lead counsel in the case, said in a written statement.

The lawsuit argues that state law is unconstitutional because it favors Christianity over other religions. It seeks a court order clarifying that the law is broad enough to allow the use of multiple religious texts, or else rule the statute unconstitutional.

Tuesday's hearing is on the ACLU's motion for summary judgment.

State law allows witnesses preparing to testify in court to take their oath in three ways: by laying a hand over "the Holy Scriptures," by saying "so help me God" without the use of a religious book, or by an affirmation using no religious symbols.

The ACLU and the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations had called for a statewide policy permitting use of the Koran and other religious texts in courtrooms. But the director of the state court system refused, saying the General Assembly or the courts needed to settle the issue.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit in July 2005, and later added Mateen as an individual plaintiff.

A trial court judge dismissed the lawsuit in December 2005, ruling it was moot because there was no actual controversy at the time that warranted litigation.

In January, the ruling was reversed by a unanimous three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals. The panel noted Mateen's claim that her request to place her hand on the Koran as a witness in a domestic violence case in Guilford County was denied in 2003.

Several Jewish members of the state chapter of the ACLU have filed affidavits indicating they would prefer to swear upon the Old Testament, one of the religious texts of their faith, according to court documents.

The ACLU has said an 1856 state Supreme Court decision sets a clear precedent for oaths with religious texts. The court decision noted that North Carolina's oath-taking statutes were written for Christians but do not limit others from taking oaths in the way they deem most sacred.

The ACLU said a change in the law in 1985 further supports that point. Before then, the law was called "Administration of oath upon the Gospels" and stated that someone to be sworn was to lay his or her hand on "the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God."

Legislators took out "the Gospels" in the title and changed the language to simply read "Holy Scriptures." The ACLU contends the change signals that legislators were trying to be more inclusive.
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:08 PM
rudy's Avatar
rudy rudy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 11,087

The ACLU has already run god out of the school system and now they are trying to run him out of the courts.
I'm all for rights of individuals but somewhere this has to stop.
The ACLU takes on these minority cases and the outcome will affect the majority.
I hope the supreme court holds their ground and doesn't buckle under.
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:16 PM
Posts: n/a

This one is scary. Without the use of a religious book? I wouldn't believe anyone doing that in a courtroom.
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