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Resident thinks Ten Commandments should be posted in city hall

By Staff | Nov 10, 2010

Roughly a month ago, Dick Kalfus was visiting relatives in Washington, D.C., and some down time led him to tour the U.S. Supreme Court. There he saw the Ten Commandments posted behind the heads of the justices and decided they should be posted in Cape Coral’s city hall.
Doing so, Kalfus said, will provide a moral blue print for the city to move forward with.
“It’s not a political or religious issue, it’s strictly a moral issue and that’s why it’s important to me,” Kalfus said. “Cape Coral needs to be revitalized and to begin that process there needs to be a moral foundation. That’s what it would represent.”
Mayor John Sullivan is running with the suggestion, seeking a legal opinion from the city attorney’s office about the feasibility of the placing the Ten Commandments in city hall.
Sullivan said Wednesday he doesn’t believe the Ten Commandments is a “religious thing,” and feels they don’t belong to any religious idealologies.
“All of our laws are based on the Ten Commandments, all of our major laws are,” Sullivan said. “Why wouldn’t you want to go back to our core values?”
Glenn Katon, director of the Religious Freedom Project for ACLU Florida, said a previous Supreme Court decision might make it difficult for the commandments to be displayed.
McCreary County vs. ACLU Kentucky found that displaying the Ten Commandments in McCreary County courthouses was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Katon said that anytime a governmental body displays a religious document, it will be viewed as an endorsement of that religious philosophy.
Displaying the commandments will likely be seen as unconstitutional, Katon said.
“Any time the government puts up a religious symbol, it’s going to be an endorsement. It might not be as extreme as a crucifix or a Star of David, but it’s a religious symbol (nonetheless),” Katon said.
Kalfus stands by his belief that the Ten Commandments will provide a moral boost to a city still reeling from various economic woes.
He hopes it will be installed quickly, and the entire county, if not the state, follows suit.
“I’d like to see it in every public in Cape Coral, in Lee County, in Southwest Florida and beyond,” Kalfus said.
Sullivan said he did not expect an opinion on the matter from the city attorney’s office anytime soon.