Saturday, March 15, 2014

North Idaho Town Debates Ten Commandments Monument on Public Land

Posted By on Sat, Mar 15, 2014 at 10:46 AM

A controversy that is quite familiar to Boiseans has erupted in Idaho's Panhandle, where protesters are pushing back against a plan to move a Ten Commandments monument from public land.

The Bonner County Bee reports that the Sandpoint controversy began brewing March 12, when social media began buzzing about rumors that the monument would be moved from the city's Farmin Park on March 13. City officials didn't confirm the removal, but they did confirm that they were mulling alternative locations for the monument.

That's when a hastily arranged protest filled the park on March 13. The Bee reports that the crowd swelled to 300 to 500 people at its peak Thursday afternoon.

But a spokesman for the Freedom From Religion Foundation says their organization has urged the city to move the monument after receiving three or four complaints since 2010 from residents and out-of-towners.

Meanwhile, Sandpoint city officials insist that the city has no plans to move the monument right now, but they have begun conversations with the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, which donated the monument in 1972, about alternative locations to "eliminate the city's liability."

The Sandpoint City Council has already agreed to hear public testimony on the issue at its upcoming meeting on Wednesday, March 19.

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