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PNS Daily Newscast - May 24, 2018 


Jared Kushner finally granted his security clearance. Also on our nationwide rundown: a new lawsuit seeks the release of a gay man from ICE Detention in Pennsylvania; and protecting an Arizona water source for millions near Phoenix.

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Another Ten Commandments Monument Under Scrutiny in NM

A Wisconsin group wants Santa Fe, N.M., to follow the lead of Bloomfield, N.M., and remove a Ten Commandments monument located on government property. (adflegal.org)
A Wisconsin group wants Santa Fe, N.M., to follow the lead of Bloomfield, N.M., and remove a Ten Commandments monument located on government property. (adflegal.org)
January 11, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. – A national organization wants the City of Santa Fe to remove a Ten Commandments monument from a park because the group maintains the monument violates the First Amendment's separation of church and state.

The nonprofit Freedom from Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., says the 6-foot-tall granite tablet is an "inappropriate and unconstitutional" remnant of the Cold War era.

The group's co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, says like 99 percent of the complaints her group receives, this one came from a local resident who doesn't believe the monument belongs on government property.

"The city government has no business telling citizens which god to worship, or how many gods to worship, or whether to worship any gods at all," Gaylor states.

Santa Fe's Ten Commandments monument is similar to one that was located in front of Bloomfield city hall until it was removed under court order last year after the city spent $700,000 in legal costs.

The Ten Commandments monument in Santa Fe had mostly escaped notice until the Bloomfield court case attracted national attention last year.

An inscription at its base says it was donated to the city in 1968 by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and Gaylor says that would be a more appropriate location.

"This is the kind of thing that belongs on the Eagles' club or a private church, but it does not belong on public property, because it sends that unconstitutional message that some people who believe in the Bible are 'insiders,' and the rest of us are 'outsiders,'" she stresses.

Last year, the same group successfully petitioned for removal of a religious statue from a Pennsylvania high school lawn.

The City of Santa Fe said there have been no complaints about the monolith, but it is considering the foundation's request.


Roz Brown, Public News Service - NM