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Group to erect Ten Commandments monument in Uniontown

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By Rachel Basinger
Saturday, July 13, 2013, 12:36 a.m.

Members of the Thou Shall Not Move group will soon see a second granite Ten Commandments monument erected in the Fay-West region as a direct result of their fundraising efforts.

Their first granite monument was erected outside of the Fraternal Order of Eagles on Arch Street in Connellsville in June. The Rev. Ewing Marietta, with the group, said they were very happy with how everything went.

Eagles members said they were thankful to all the individuals and local businesses who came together to help make the event a success.

“The Eagles were overwhelmed with all the support and we were very pleased with how everything turned out,” Marietta said of the first unveiling.

On July 21, a second monument placement and dedication will be held at 187 Morgantown St., Uniontown.

A group will gather at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Connellsville at 5 p.m. to participate in a motorcycle ride to the site. At 6 p.m., there will be food and music, with the actual dedication at 7.

Marietta said the choice of location for the second monument is because it's in a very high traffic area.

He added that the outer-lying areas of Connellsville have also supported the cause and have been asking for Ten Commandments monuments as well.

The group hopes to erect a new monument every two weeks.

A third monument will be at Juniata United Methodist Church near Little Summit; fourth at a church in Connellsville that still hasn't been finalized; and fifth will be at Paradise United Methodist Church in Bullskin Township.

The group has raised just over $17,000 through the sale of shirts and yard signs to help pay for the different monuments.

“The only shirt or sign that makes money for the granite monuments are the ones that say ‘Rock of Liberty' on them,” Marietta said.

The group also received word of a forthcoming $4,000 donation.

“All we need is another $4,000 and then we'll have enough to cover the cost of the 14 granite monuments that we've ordered so far,” Marietta said.

He added that if they continue to raise money, they actually have about 40 churches that have signed up for a granite monument.

The efforts of the Thou Shall Not Move group began after the Connellsville Area School District was threatened with a lawsuit if the Ten Commandments monument near the district's junior high school was not removed. That monument, donated to the school district, has been there since the 1950s.

The group formed to raise funds for any legal costs that might be incurred by the district if a legal battle ensued for not removing the monument.

At this point, the group has about $5,000 for that purpose, but the district has not asked for any money.

The second purpose of the group was to raise funds to erect as many Ten Commandments monuments in the area as they could.

“It all started because of the Eagles' work, and we have the opportunity to expand what they started,” Marietta said. “We're trying to affect the youth in this country and see a great turnaround take place.”

Individuals who would like to donate money to either the legal fund or the monument fund can send their donations to “Ten Commandments,” P.O. Box 410, Connellsville, PA, 15425.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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