Here's the story.

I've contacted the Freedom From Religion Foundation about this, but
the law on this sort of thing is murky.

Does anyone know anything more about the setting in which this
monument was placed? I'm wondering whether there are other monuments
in that same park (which seems to have been an important factor in Van
Orden v. Perry).

If anyone can provide a complete description or photos of the park, it
would be helpful. I live 200 miles away, but will check it out on my
next trip to the Baton Rouge area.

Since this monument seems to be intruding on the "Veterans Plaza,"
this case might be especially appropriate for any freethinking

It is also worth noting that this version of the Ten Commandments,
which was placed on city property in a south Louisiana town, uses the
traditionally Protestant division, rather than the Catholic one.

Here's an earlier article which provides some background on these
monuments, though the ones mentioned in that article are on private

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Replies to This Discussion

If they allow all people to erect monuments, then its OK. Chances are, they don't. In that case, it's illegal. Would they allow us to erect one to the FSM? When the City Council declared, “We’re a Christian-based community”, they violated the separation of church and state.
I'd prefer that a member from the Baker area take up this fight, but if not I'll forward this to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State ASAP.
I think the legal question is more complex than whether they allow all people to erect monuments in the park.

The case will probably turn on the issue of whether the Baker monument is more like the one in Texas or the one in Kentucky. The context in which it is displayed will be important.

If someone could visit the park and determine whether there are other monuments in the park, that would be helpful in making the distinction. Also, if there are other monuments, are all the others veteran-themed? If the Ten Commandments are really out of place in this park, then that helps our case.

Also, the city council did not declare, "We're a Christian-based community." That was just a statement made by the mayor. The statement might be useful in showing the motives of the city fathers in allowing the monument to be placed, but the statement itself wouldn't actually be a First Amendment violation.
Well the most common law about public property is all or none. I would love to see a private citizen pay for a sign saying "There is no God" to be placed next to it and the request be denied. Then he can sue the city for denial of free speech, which is inherit in the First Amendment. After the court case, regardless of the out come, the city might be more selective on what gets put where.
Looking back on it, theme is extremely important. If anything, there should be a sign commemorating the fallen atheists that had lost their lives along side with their theistic brothers. What that might be, I don't exactly know but that in itself might be reason enough to consider building a monument.
I doubt that a competing monument is necessary (though I certainly wouldn't oppose anybody who wanted to donate one). The city is probably violating the First Amendment just by having the monument on city property. Again, it's really going to depend on the context.

If the Ten Commandments is allowed to stay in Veterans Plaza, then the idea of erecting a memorial there to atheist veterans is a very good one. I'll pledge $50.
From what I read about the decisions, and the artical about how the monument came about, I would think they would have a hard time keeping the monument on display if someone was to legaly challenge the display.

The display wasn't placed by a commitee like the one in TX was. There doesn't appear to be a placard stating it was placed by anyone in particular (this would have to be verified first though). If there is no placard, it could be argued that the city was endorsing the display. Also looking at the picture, it is being displayed in a way that would be odd for anyone in the park trying to observe it. So in a sense, it is out of context with displaying it as a part of the park's features or monuments.

It sounds like there are lawyers there already looking into the legality of it. Does something like this have to be brought up by a citizen of the town, or any State citizen can file suit against the display?
Just thought I would add this link
It looks like the Mayor will be keeping them up until someone challnges it. Through their own words though, I don't think they would have a chance o keep it there.
Thanks so much for posting this! Now, we need a Baker resident who is willing to be a plaintiff. has a short article on the Baker 10 C's. (I know that's not the best news source, but I like reading it.)

The last sentence of the article is amusing: "The monument went up without a fight earlier this month and was only recently challenged."

The monument went up WAY back "earlier this month" (on Sept. 9, to be exact) "without a fight" (and without formal approval by the city council and without consultation with the city attorney) and, as of now (Sept. 21), has "only recently been challenged."

I also think it's cute and sad that the mayor is praying that the monument gets to stay up. I can't wait to see what God's response will be.


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