Ten Commandments "God Bless America" Tour Underway

( [email protected] ) Aug 05, 2004 09:13 PM EDT

The Ten Commandments monument, on its “God Bless America” national tour made its first stop at the Rhea County Courthouse in Tennessee and is destined to end up on at an “America for Jesus” rally in Washington D.C. on October 22. Two veterans groups, American Veterans Standing for God and Country and American Veterans in Domestic Defense, who are sponsoring the tour hope it the monument will find a permanent home in Washington.

On August 1, the monument made its way to Greene County Courthouse, greeted with a rally in which the mayor along with 200 attended. After making several more stops in Tennessee cities, the monument will head next to Mississippi, according to Jim Cabaniss, president of American Veterans In Domestic Defense.

Eight Alabama Supreme Court Justices removed the monument last August from the rotunda of the state courthouse following a federal court order. The marker was placed in a closet.

Former Alabama Chief Justice, who owns the monument, was ousted from his position after he refused to remove it from public display. He is currently appealing to reclaim his job.

The 5,280-pound monument has sparked controversy among church and state separatists, who argue it is an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion, and religious conservatives, who believe the right to display the monument is within their constitutional right.