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Ten Commandments monuments still rising in Connellsville area

| Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, 10:15 a.m.
Rachel Basinger | for the Daily Courier
Gary Colatch (left) and Dave Show are joined by several children for the unveiling of a Ten Commandments monument in front of the First Baptist Church, South Pittsburgh Street, Connellsville, on Sunday afternoon.
Rachel Basinger | for the Daily Courier
Carol Vogel looks through the shirts for sale that have the 10 Commandments printed on them.

Since the first one was erected in June outside the Fraternal Order of Eagles on Arch Street in Connellsville, granite monuments of the Ten Commandments have been popping up on a regular basis at locations all over the area.

On Sunday, a dedication service was held for the latest monument unveiled outside the First Baptist Church, South Pittsburgh Street, Connellsville.

Guest speaker Carol Vogel said placing the Ten Commandments in public places is a reminder that the United States is a Judeo-Christian country and that its citizens are virtuous and moral people.

“Evil wants to transform our country, but we're not here to let it,” she said. “We're here to take a stand. We are one nation under God. If we do what God wants us to do every day, we can't go wrong.”

Speaker A.C. Stickel said the Ten Commandments are as pertinent for us today as they were when they were given to Moses by God thousands of years ago.

“God tells us to write these words on our hearts, in our homes, on our door posts — everywhere we are,” he said. “We must stand strong. This whole issue is not about a single monument at a single school. That's not what it's about.

“It's a test of our strength and courage,” he added. “It's about how we respond when people are watching.”

Speaker Dave Show said we cannot allow political correctness to keep us down. Speaker Gary Colatch said that the Thou Shall Not Move group is “going forward by going back to what this country was founded on — God, country and family.”

Mike Brown, evangelistic pastor for Liberty Baptist Church, Uniontown, said he loves his country but he wants God to be first in his life.

“We have to get back to God,” he said. “If you take care of God's business, He'll take care of your business.”

The efforts of the Thou Shall Not Move group began after the Connellsville Area School District was threatened with a lawsuit if it did not remove the Ten Commandments monument located near the district's junior high school. The monument had been at the school for more than 50 years. It was a gift from the Eagles organization.

The Thou Shall Not Move 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 yet asked for money.

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

“It all started because of the Eagles' work, and we have the opportunity to expand what they started,” said the Rev. Ewing Marietta of Connellsville, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church and an organizer with Thou Shall Not Move. “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. Please specify which fund.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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