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Mayor backs off plan for Ten Commandments display

By Staff | Nov 15, 2010

Mayor John Sullivan likely won’t move forward with a proposal to display the Ten Commandments in city hall after he gained little support from the dais at Monday’s city council meeting.
Last week Sullivan concurred with resident Dick Kalfus that the Ten Commandments would help to provide a “moral blueprint” for the city to move forward with. Kalfus came up with the idea following a trip to Washington, D.C., where he saw the commandments displayed in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sullivan said Monday there have been court cases to both support and deny the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings. He maintained that displaying the commandments would not support a individual religious ideology but path for the city to follow to economic recovery.
“It was a matter of common sense, of getting back to core values,” Sullivan said.
Councilmember Pete Brandt said he was a “constitutional conservative,” and that the United States was founded on “Judeo-Christian morals and ethics.”
Despite his affinity for both the constitution and those values, he didn’t support hanging the Ten Commandments in city hall.
“If it comes to a vote, I cannot support erecting the Ten Commandments,” Brandt said.
Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz said those same Judeo-Christian values the United States was based on also led to the systematic destruction of the indigenous peoples of this land.
“I hope they didn’t have a copy of the Ten Commandments in their pockets while they slaughtered Native Americans … I would ask we not be hypocrites,” Chulakes-Leetz said.
Councilmember Kevin McGrail said there were other more important things to worry about than hanging the Ten Commandments.
“We have enough on our plate right now, we don’t need to become a lightning rod for further controversy,” McGrail said.