July 7, 2004
MCDONOUGH, Ga. – Henry County commissioners have voted to display the Ten Commandments in the county courthouse after a citizen donated a 3-by-2 foot framed copy.
"Let them sue. I’m not afraid of a lawsuit," Commissioner Gerry Adams said Tuesday as the commission agreed to the display requested by Ray McBerry, who said he represented League of the South.
McBerry suggested that his donated copy of the Ten Commandments, along with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, be placed in the 107-year-old courthouse south of Atlanta.
McBerry’s organization, League of the South, says it seeks to preserve Southern heritage. But the group is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
McBerry led an unsuccessful effort three years ago to create a Henry County flag bearing the Confederate battle emblem.
He said displaying the Ten Commandments "would express our solidarity with our sister counties and states across America that are under fire for having done the very same thing themselves."
In Cherokee County, north of Atlanta, commissioners put the Ten Commandments on public display Thursday in their justice center. In Barrow County, northeast of Atlanta, the American Civil Liberties Union, representing an anonymous plaintiff, is suing to have a Commandments display removed from the courthouse.
The most prominent Ten Commandments dispute took place in Alabama in 2002, when Roy Moore was ousted as that state’s chief justice for refusing to remove a Commandments monument from his courthouse.