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Thou Shall Not Move dedicates third Ten Commandments monument

| Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, 9:33 p.m.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Nancy Weltz of Connellsville accepts the flag and condolences from Pete Shearer, MM2 Navy, after she was presented with the flag in memory of her husband, Albert, a World War II veteran who recently died. A flag is presented at each Ten Commandments monument dedication.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
A third Ten Commandments monument was dedicated on Sunday evening at Juniata United Methodist Church. The children of the gathering were reminded how important the moment was and to remember that they had a hand in the revealing of the new monument.

The Rev. Terry Teluch, pastor of Juniata United Methodist Church, told hundreds of people to “keep the word of God in your heart” minutes before a new Ten Commandments monument debuted and was dedicated on Sunday night at the Dunbar Township church.

The dedication ceremony marked the third Ten Commandments monument erected on church grounds by the Thou Shall Not Move organization led by the Rev. Ewing Marietta, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in North Union Township.

The group has been selling Ten Commandments signs and T-shirts throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania to help fund the monuments, which are being placed in churches and other locations throughout the area.

The group was started after the Freedom From Religion Foundation, representing a group of atheists, filed a lawsuit against the Connellsville Area School District, asking that a 55-year-old Ten Commandments monument be removed from in front of the junior high school.

Instead of removing the Ten Commandments monument, the school district decided to fight it in court.

Thou Shall Not Move organizers say America was founded on Christian beliefs and principles, and the Ten Commandments provide the framework for the nation's laws.

“The image on the monument is the true word of God,” Teluch told the crowd on Sunday. “It's the image that believers use to display their belief in God. The word of God is given to all people — to either accept or reject it.

“Atheists have no images to believe in,” he added. “Christians accept all people as children of God.”

Dr. Gary Snyder, a pastor of a Washington County church, said the separation of church and state is not in the U.S. Constitution.

“The real separation of church and state is what the Soviet Union was based on,” he said. “History is actually being rewritten, and it's very scary.”

Snyder said the United States is a “nation blessed by God.”

“All nations that forget God are doomed to death, spiritually, morally and financially,” he added. “If Americans return to their faith in God and turn from their wicked ways, God will bless America again. It's not too late. We ask for God to bless America. It's time for America to bless God. May we always be one nation under God.”

The Rev. Stuart Adams, who said he is the great-great-great-grandson of the nation's second president, John Adams, one of the nation's founding fathers, talked about the history of the nation and its belief in God.

In 1948, Adams said, Israel became a nation and 11 minutes later the United States recognized it.

“In the Bible, God said I will bless those who bless Israel, and I will curse those who curse Israel,” Adams said. “The Israelis are God's chosen people, and America can never forget that.”

Adams said he believes if America repents and turns away from its sins, God will heal the nation.

But if America doesn't repent, Adams said he believes America will continue to be cursed.

“I believe that God is coming soon for his children,” Adams said. “It will happen in a twinkling of an eye. When it happens, I hope we're not a society that doesn't believe in God.

“There are souls who are lost and dying,” he added. “We need to show them love and compassion instead of hate.”

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.

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