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Christian Activists to Unveil 850-Pound Ten Commandments Monument in D.C.

Christian activists Rob Schenck and Patrick Mahoney are back in Washington, D.C., to display an 850-pound Ten Commandments monument across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Christian Activists to Unveil 850-Pound Ten Commandments Monument in D.C.

WASHINGTON – After cruising to San Diego to defend the public display of the city’s historic Mount Soledad Cross, Christian activists Rob Schenck and Patrick Mahoney are back in town to display an 850-pound Ten Commandments monument across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This public display of the Ten Commandments is all about giving glory to God and advancing the truth,” said the Rev. Schenck, President of the D.C-based Faith and Action. “Capitol Hill is in need of both.”

Faith and Action, along with the Rev. Mahoney’s Christian Defense Coalition, plans to unveil the stone monument – “the only public display of the Ten Commandment which has all the Commandments written out in English in Washington, D.C.” – on the front lawn of its office on Second Street NE on Saturday.

The house sits directly across a narrow street from the Supreme Court, and the website encourages people planning to attend Saturday’s event to use the free parking in the court’s employee parking lot.

The sculpture "will be visible to the nine justices as they arrive and leave each day," the group explained in why it took up the project.

“This display serves as a powerful visible reminder to our political and judicial leaders that our nation’s government was founded on the principles contained in the Ten Commandments,” Mahoney elaborated.

Both Mahoney and Schenck said they expect “fierce opposition” but are willing to fight to keep the monument in plain sight.

“We want to make it very clear to Washington, D.C. officials that any efforts to remove this public display would be a violation of the First Amendment and a blatant act of hostility and bigotry toward faith,” Mahoney said. “Under no circumstances will we remove this Ten Commandments monument.”

While there is yet to be a direct challenge, the group may not have the approval it needs from at least two agencies to display the scripture.

Erik Linden, a spokesman for the city's Department of Transportation, told the Washington Post that the group needs a public space permit from the department before displaying the monument. And Linden and Bill Sisolak, a local advisory neighborhood commissioner and chairman of the commission's zoning committee, told the Post that Faith and Action also would need the approval of the Historic Preservation Review Board because its house sits in a historic district.

"We are notifying [Schenck] that he needs a permit to occupy what is deemed a public space, and we will work with him to ensure that he understands what he needs to complete the process," said Linden.

According to its website, Faith and Action tried to get permits from various agencies, including the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. However, the Washington Post notes that this would not be the right agency to apply to.

The groups say that it will go forward with the ceremony Saturday, and will challenge any efforts by city officials to remove it.

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