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10 Commandments monument placed at Normalville church

| Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Rachel Basinger | for the Daily Courier
Several area veterans gather to fold the American flag during the Ten Commandments dedication ceremony Saturday at Normalville United Methodist Church. From left are Ed Smith, Robert Dumbauld and Leo Smith.

With the sun setting behind the mountain in one direction and a view of fall colors dotting other mountain ridges in the other, members of the Thou Shall Not Move group and those from Normalville United Methodist Church gathered the latest Ten Commandments monument dedication.

The monument at this church marks the seventh the group has been able to provide and dedicate at different locations throughout the Fay-West region since the first one was placed in June at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Connellsville.

Dave Show, with the Fayette Patriots, quoted Thomas Jefferson during the dedication on Saturday, saying, “One man with courage is a majority,” and thanked area pastors for setting aside their differences, egos and petty distractions to defend the country's heritage.

“I want to thank those pastors who don't mind losing a parishioner or two by doing what is right,” he said. “What a tragedy it would be for a pastor to risk the loss of religious liberties because of their lack of effort.”

Show added that time is short, the task is great and the time for pastors to lead is now.

The Rev. Ewing Marietta, one of the founders of the Thou Shall Not Move group, said that Christ has made people free to live in a country where they can live for him.

“We need to pray that things change in this country and that takes you having courage to spend money with businesses who believe in God and the Ten Commandments and then taking that same attitude into the polls,” he said.

The efforts of the Thou Shall Not Move group began after the Connellsville Area School District was threatened with a lawsuit by the Freedom from Religion Foundation if a Ten Commandments monument near the district's junior high school was not moved. The monument has been at the school since the Eagles donated it to the district more than 50 years ago.

The Freedom from Religion organization is representing an atheist and student who want the monument removed from the school grounds.

Thou Shall Not Move 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. The second purpose of the group was to raise funds to erect as many Ten Commandments monuments in the area as they could.

The monuments are being funded by the selling of cardboard Ten Commandments yard signs, although some churches have opted to make donations to the group or to purchase the monuments outright.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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