Thou Shall Not Move dedicates Ten Commandments monument in Uniontown

| Monday, July 22, 2013, 12:11 a.m.

Shouts of “Praise Jesus” and “Thou shall not move it” echoed through the air Sunday night during a Ten Commandments monument dedication at St. Paul's AME Church along Morgantown Street in Uniontown.

The monument is sponsored by the Thou Shall Not Move grassroots group.

The monument was presented as a show of support for a court battle between the Connellsville Area School District and the Freedom from Religion organization. The Freedom from Religion organization is representing an atheist and student who want a half-century monument removed from the school grounds of Connellsville Junior High, explained the Rev. Ewing Marietta, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church of Uniontown and a Connellsville resident who is an organizer with Thou Shall Not Move.

“I want to thank each and every one of you for coming here to stand today,” Marietta said. “Without your help, this could not be done. You helped us to sell 5,000 Ten Commandments signs that are displayed in Fayette County yards and helped us to pay for this monument. It's because of you that this is happening.”

The organization debuted its first Ten Commandments monument weeks ago in Connellsville at the Connellsville Eagles. Marietta said more monument dedications are planned throughout the area.

“In God we trust,” added David Show of the Fayette Patriots. “We want to have monuments like this one all over Fayette County. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution assures us freedom of religion — not from religion.”

Show said it is his hope that motorists traveling along busy Morgantown Street will see the monument and think about what the Ten Commandments mean to the United States, which was founded on Christian principles.

Marietta urged the crowd “not to be afraid because the Lord, your God, is with you.”

“We must be strong and show courage,” Marietta said. “I'm not backing down. You're getting a call from God. Pick up God's call and answer it. The time is now to defend your faith.”

As Marietta spoke, the crowd applauded.

The Rev. Roland Mausk, pastor of Grace Brethren Church in Uniontown, said the most important commandments are “to love God with your heart and soul and to love your neighbors as yourself.”

Gary Colatch of Connellsville, an organizer for Thou Shall Not Move, called the Morgantown Street location “the free speech zone.”

“Freedom from religion offends Christians,” Colatch said. “Christians don't believe that atheists should tell us what we can and cannot do. This monument is the free speech zone.

“They have wakened up people of this area,” Colatch said. “We decided to stand up for Freedom of religion — not from religion. No one is going to move this stone. We will not allow it. We've decided to stand up for this monument and to stand up for Jesus Christ.”

The Rev. Alfred Thompson, pastor of St. Paul's AME Church, said action must be taken for people “to turn away from their wicked ways.”

“We dedicate our lives to becoming living monuments to tell everyone about God and the Ten Commandments,” Thompson said. “We want God to use us to spread his word.”

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.

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