CONNELLSVILLE — Although a Ten Commandments monument on Connellsville Area school grounds became the focus of a lawsuit more than four months ago, grassroots group Thou Shalt Not Move is still standing up in support of the monument.
“If we let things die off, it’s not going to be a very good sign to the people around the country who have started to pay attention,” said Gary Colatch, an organizer for the group.
After taking a break for the holidays, the group met for the first time on Wednesday evening to discuss updates.
The Rev. Ewing Marietta, another organizer, reported that about 600 Ten Commandments signs had been sold in the past month, bringing the total to 3,900 signs.
Marietta said signs are also being sold in Waynesburg, Washington, Smithfield and even Columbus, Ohio.
“It’s slowly growing,” Marietta said. “People are getting behind us.”
Marietta asked those who attended the meeting to continue to voice their support of keeping the monument on school grounds and encouraged people to write letters to the editor.
He also asked other members of the Thou Shalt Not Move group to ask people in the community to sign petitions in support of the monument.
“If we remain silent and we don’t speak up and don’t let our voices be heard, then we’re complicit,” Marietta said. “ … Let’s not be silent about this.”
A federal district judge on Tuesday denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin-based group against a school district in Westmoreland County regarding its display of a Ten Commandments monument.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sued both the New Kensington-Arnold School District and the Connellsville Area School District over displays of the Ten Commandments posted outside schools in each district. The New Kensington-Arnold suit was filed first, and there is a decision pending on a motion to dismiss the Connellsville suit.
“This may not be the best news for us,” Marietta said.
Also Wednesday, Marietta presented Colatch with a Ten Commandments poster for his efforts in supporting the grassroots group.