Sunday, April 15, 2007


Goin' Down in Dixie


It appears that Dixie County, Florida is the next sacrificial lamb in the Righteous Right's campaign against the Establishment Clause.

Liberty Counsel, which describes itself as a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization but also as a "ministry," has taken over the defense of the county in a federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU, after the county permitted a local company to erect a Ten Commandments monument. While the press release from Liberty Counsel describes the monument as "near the county courthouse," as can be seen from the above picture, it is located at the top of steps attached to the courthouse and directly under the "County" in a large sign that appears to read "Dixie County Courthouse." If there could be a more blatant endorsement of a particular religious tradition by a government, it would have to involve flashing neon lights.

It may seem crazy to take this kind of case to court in that, under existing precedents, a lone display of a single religious icon, in a space intimately associated with a government building without any other symbols to give it a context as just one source of law out of many, is a slam dunk case for the ACLU. Worse, it is unlikely that any insurance carrier the county might have would consent to Liberty Counsel representing its interests, so that probably means that the county is uninsured or, as was the case in the Dover Intelligent Design case, the county commissioners are violating the standard policy provisions, allowing the insurer to disclaim.

But it makes perfect sense to an outfit like Liberty Counsel. There is always the possibility that, with the recent changes on the Supreme Court, there will be a major reinterpretation of the Establishment clause and Liberty comes out of it as great heroes to the theocracy-friendly set. If not, the case can be used to further stimulate a perception among the faithful that they are under some sort of siege from the forces of atheism (defined to include anything and everything that does not profess their peculiar creed), and Liberty has another "scary" story to tell when haranguing the faithful for donations.

One thing you can be sure of ... if things go badly, Liberty Counsel will disappear as fast as the Thomas More Law Center did when it came time to pay the piper.

By the way, meet Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel:

Would you trust your Constitution to that man?

Via Get Busy Livin', or Get Busy Bloggin'.

Do you live close to the area?
PS: I have an answer to your question re liability -- the insurer dropped them like a hot potatoe
The Board voted unanimously to let Liberty Counsel represent the county in the lawsuit filed by the ACL. The ACLU filed the lawsuit in an attempt to have the Ten Commandments monument moved from the courthouse steps. County Attorney Leenette McMillan informed the Board that by choosing Liberty Counsel to represent the county in the lawsuit, the county will not be covered by its existing liability company. The Board chose Liberty Counsel because of the firm’s expertise in this type of lawsuit. Liberty Counsel has agreed to represent the county free of charge.
Do you live close to the area?

No, I'm in the New York.

But hey! I've got Dr. Egnor almost literally in my back yard! To coin a phrase ... we all have our crosses to bear.

Thanks for the confirmation of my guess!
If you'd like to put a voice to Mat Staver's fabulous face, go to WVCY's home page and listen to "Faith and Freedom" at 3pm central time. The URL is:

You can listen on line.
Caution: This is an extraordinarily morally corrupt radio network.
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