Group continues fight to keep Ten Commandments on Connellsville school grounds
Thou Shall Not Move has not given up its fight.
Pastor Ewing Marietta, a group organizer, said several monument dedications are planned during the next several weeks and a rally is scheduled around the covered Ten Commandments monument on property at the Connellsville Junior High School.
A freedom of speech rally will be held on Sunday at the Faith Bible Church in Connellsville, where the 16th Ten Commandments monument will be dedicated.
The event will begin at 4 p.m. with music and food. The dedication will be held at 5 p.m.
The Thou Shall Not Move movement began about two years ago when the Connellsville Area School District was ordered to remove a Ten Commandments monument, which had been located at the site for more than 50 years.
A court battle began in 2012 when the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of an atheist who wanted the monument removed from school grounds.
The Connellsville Area School District has not removed the Ten Commandments monument and the lawsuit is ongoing.
Thou Shall Not Move is hoping for good attendance at a rally on June 9 at the monument site at the school. The rally will begin at 7:30 p.m. before a school board agenda meeting at 8.
“This is our opportunity to stand up for this and show that it is for a very good reason. We need to come out in full force on June 9 and appeal to them to not give their opinion, but to give the facts,” Marietta said. “This is our heritage. When our ancestors landed in Jamestown in 1607, the first thing that they did was to enact the Ten Commandments as law.”
Marietta said he wants to appeal to everyone in the community to gather to fight for what is right: “Even if you don't believe in Jesus Christ, even if you don't believe in the Lord God, it's freedom for all. It's a standard of respect to everyone.”
Another monument dedication is planned for June 1 at Greenwood United Methodist Church in Connellsville. Music and food will be available at 4 p.m. The dedication will follow at 5.
To date, the group reportedly has raised more than $31,000 through the selling of the Ten Commandments signs and T-shirts, with money going to the purchase of the granite monuments and to be used toward legal fees for the lawsuit.
Ten Commandments signs are available in 1x2, 2x4 and 4x8 sizes. T-shirts are available at all of the dedications.
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.