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moncler coats cheap Baldwin County Commission listens, but passes, on request for monument to atheist veterans Baldwin County Commissioners heard testimony from a Mobile college student regarding her request that a monument similar to this one near Munford, Ala., be allowed at the Baldwin County Courthouse in Bay Minette.

- The idea of erecting a monument to atheist veterans at the Baldwin County Courthouse suffered a setback Tuesday.

After hearing testimony from college student Amanda Scott at a Foley work session, the Baldwin County Commission took no action on Scott's request that an be allowed near an existing memorial that bears the inscription "Dedicated to the glory of God and in honor of the veterans of all wars." The issue must be placed on the agenda for a future meeting for it to be considered.

"At this time, we're not erecting any other monuments," Charles "Skip" Gruber, commission chairman, said after the meeting.

Scott, a Mobile resident, said she would contact the national Freedom From Religion Foundation before determining how to proceed. Both Scott and the foundation had sent complaint letters to the county regarding the existing veterans' memorial earlier this month.

"The Commission today has the opportunity to show they are not anti-atheist by accepting a monument to atheists alongside a monument honoring theists," Scott told the group Tuesday. "Only by adding an atheist monument or removing the religious monument can we honor the Constitution that all military personnel pledge to defend."

Scott was one of three people speaking on the issue at the work session Tuesday morning. Conservative activist and former Congressional candidate Dean Young spoke, as did commission attorney David Conner.

Conner outlined case law related to the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, which prohibits the government from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion," he said Tuesday afternoon. He cited Lemon V. Kurtzman (1971) in listing three tests for whether a religious display is allowed under the First Amendment: It must have a secular purpose, must not advertise or promote religion, and it most not foster excessive entanglement of religion, he said.

Conner said the existing monument was paid for by the American Legion of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans and, therefore, does not promote a specific denomination. "It has a secular purpose, and it was to honor veterans," he said. The wording 'Under God," he added, "doesn't promote or inhibit religion in its principal or primary effect."

Scott said she disagreed with Conner's assessment of the Lemon test. "Circuit Courts have applied the Lemon test and the endorsement test, and have found that the display of religious symbols in war memorials on government property are unconstitutional, even when they are privately sponsored by veterans groups," she said.

Earlier this year, Scott spoke publicly against an "In God We Trust" display planned for Mobile Government Plaza.


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