Ten Commandments Display in Texas May Violate 'Highway Beautification Code'

A display of the Ten Commandments on private property may be in violation of the Highway Beautification Transportation Code of the Lone Star State.

In Sabine County, Texas, a pastor who placed a Ten Commandments sign on her property near a highway might have to remove the display or pay for a permit to maintain its present location.

Jeanette Golden, pastor at Word of Truth Family Church in Hemphill, was told by the Texas Department of Transportation that she would have to pay for a permit for the sign.

Last August, Golden placed the Ten Commandments sign on the edge of her 28-acre property, near Highway 21, according KTRE ABC 9.

"About three months later, she got a certified letter from TxDOT informing her to take the sign down," reported ABC. "[Last week] the state said a permit was necessary. Total cost is $250, plus an annual fee of $150."

Golden's sign came from the website Philip Klevmoen, spokesman for the website, told The Christian Post that he takes issue with TxDOT's position.

"I strictly go back to the Word of God," said Klevmoen, "and I go back to the First Amendment and I don't see anywhere in God's law or in the First Amendment where a person would have to pay to put up God's Word."

"To have to pay an annual fee is, I think, to set a precedent that I do not want to go on with, especially with the things that are happening in this country and around the world."

Klevmoen also told CP that his organization has "never had an issue" like this one, regarding the placement of a banner or sign, many of which are being displayed in more than 30 states.

"Somehow it seems like someone came along and didn't like it, went to the state and said, 'Hey you need a permit,'" said Klevmoen.

Veronica Beyer, director of media relations for the TxDOT, provided CP with a statement regarding the ongoing controversy.

"TxDOT's goal is to come up with a workable solution while adhering to existing laws around the placement and size of roadside signs," read the statement.

"We will continue to work with Mrs. Golden to bring her sign into compliance with federal mandates."

Jeanette Golden did not return comment to The Christian Post by press time.

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