Alabama judge suspended & charged with ethics violations
for not removing ten commandments monument.
Well here's a gray area...what "ethics"? More specifically, what concrete definition of ethics exists? Technically speaking, his definition of the term presumably meant that it was against his ethics to remove it whereas for the federal court it was an ethics violation to NOT remove it. For them to call it an ethics violation and have it be a binding rule for a more legitimate reasoning than "becuz we said so", they would have to be able to point to a line within the rules of that court saying that such a monument could not be present anywhere in the courthouse. If this rule isn't there, then he violated nothing but their word.
What do I think of the monument? I think it's more of an issue of where such things are placed than them being present at all. Religious items for the benefit of gov't officials is not a trend, it's been a feature of the country since it was created. Hell, congress has had it's own personal religious counsellors (priests, chaplins, whatever you call them) for the longest, and nobody cares. If that's how they get down, that's fine by me, long as they do their job. Seperation of church and state is not literal to the point where even the officials of the gov't themselves cannot practice their faith, otherwise why is "in god we trust" on our money? I may not personally
approve of the idea, but what I personally believe and what the constitution says are not the same thing -- it says "congress shall make no law" establishing a religion or banning the free practice thereof, not "no government official may express their faith in any way during hours of service". I'd say as long as it's not positioned so as to suggest shoving it in people's faces (i.e.: first thing you see upon entrance) it's fine.