Monument to Move Soon

Ten Commandments Monument
By  | 

The engraving of the Ten Commandments that has been the object of a great deal of media attention in the last few days will be removed soon. That is the word from the state's attorney general, Bill Pryor.

Chief Justice Roy Moore spoke Monday for the first time since his suspension from the bench Friday.

"We've allowed the acknowledgement of God to be taken from us because three lawyers walked in this building and are offended at looking at God's word," said Moore. "See, that's what this case is about. It's not about a monument. It's not about religion. It's about the acknowledgement of almighty God."

"There's logistical problems with moving a monument that weighs more than 5,000 pounds," said Bill Pryor, Alabama's attorney general. "And there are security issues. There are a number of demonstrators outside the courthouse. So all I will say at this point is it's going to be (moved) very soon."

The Christian Defense Coalition has filed a federal lawsuit against the eight associate justices who voted to push the statue from public view.

The group's argument is that the removal of the icon discriminates against its religious beliefs and rights to express them under the constitution. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The lawsuit, filed by a Mobile woman and a Tallassee pastor, states
that plans to remove the monument violate the First and Fourteenth amendments.

Minutes after the lawsuit was announced, police blocked off the front of the building with metal barricades.

Building superintendent Graham George said the barricades were erected to prevent protesters from leaning dangerously against the building's large windows and glass doors, where they've gathered for the last week. The organizers agreed to cooperate.

At least one company contacted about removing the monument declined the job. Charles Tourney, vice president of Clark Memorial, said the company built and moved the monument into the building, but rejected the job for business and personal reasons.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.