Originally created 10/01/00

ACLU ignores monuments to ancient deities



Despite Hoyt Goodson's Sept. 10 praise of the American Civil Liberties Union for protecting our nation from any single religion's clutches, I can't help suspecting bias in the lawsuit challenging Augusta's Superior Court seal.

According to the ACLU, the seal depicts the Ten Commandments and endorses Judaism and Christianity so strongly as to imply that only Jews and Christians are full citizens.

Really? Then why does the ACLU ignore other religious symbols near the Municipal Building and courthouse?

The Signers Monument out front is an obelisk, a symbol linked to the Egyptian sun god, Atum. The statue in back depicts the justice goddess, worshiped as Themis in ancient Greece, and Justitia in the Roman Empire. Don't think these deities aren't relevant or still believed in?

The Ascension Research Center (a group devoted to ascended masters) worships the justice goddess as "Portia," declaring her a member of a karmic board that oversees all reincarnations and includes a goddess depicted by our Statue of Liberty.

The Ancient Egyptian Order of Nuwaubians, having erected pyramids and obelisks on a 400-acre compound in Putnam County, Ga., plans to build a Rameses-style temple in nearby Athens.

We're so diverse it's hard to find a symbol no one considers religious. Why not admit that symbols on city property function historically, showing our government and courts to have been founded on important principles from Egypt, Greece, Rome and biblical Israel, among other places?

As to the seal's cost to taxpayers, I'm curious why the ACLU's three local plaintiffs weren't concerned about maintenance of the justice goddess or the obelisks on Greene Street. Not many years ago the justice goddess was rusting and needing an arm reattached. She looks better now.

Frank Hutto, Augusta