ACLU Sues Louisiana Judge Over Jesus

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A small southern Louisiana town is the latest battleground for a classic First Amendment showdown over the separation of church and state, pitting a feisty judge with a painting of Christ in his courthouse against the nation's top civil liberties group.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued Judge Jim Lamz of Slidell, La., earlier this month for refusing to take down a portrait of Jesus Christ above the words "To know peace, obey these laws" displayed in a courthouse lobby. The judge says he believes the picture is legal, and the mayor of the city — the mayor and the town are also named in the lawsuit — called the ACLU "America's Taliban."

The case began when a man walked into the Slidell courthouse earlier this year and saw the portrait, which has hung there for a decade.

The man, who is insisting on anonymity because of the nature of the case, is named in the suit as "John Doe." In his first media interview since jointly filing the lawsuit with the ACLU on July 3, the man told ABC News about his encounter with the display.

"You go in the courthouse, and you can't miss it," he said. "And I'm thinking, 'This is a court of law and they're blatantly disobeying the law with a religious symbol.'"

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Posted by Mycroft on 2007-08-07 13:31:27
You can't call it a 'portrait', though, can you?
No one can prove that such a person ever existed, never mind what he may have looked like if he did.
 

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