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Group says it will appeal ruling on Ten Commandments monument

(ran LA edition of LT)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation says it will ask the Colorado Supreme Court to reconsider its decision that a Ten Commandments monument can stay at the State Capitol.

The Madison, Wis.-based group had sued to have the stone monument _ 3 1/2-feet-high by 2 1/2-feet-wide, with the Ten Commandments engraved on it _ removed from the grounds of the capitol complex, claiming it violated the separation of church and state.

The monument, and some 40 others around the country, was originally placed on public grounds in the 1950s as part of Cecil B. De Mille's promotion of his epic movie, "The Ten Commandments."

The monuments were sponsored by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles after Jewish, Protestant and Catholic groups agreed on a version of the Ten Commandments that "was not identified with any particular religious group," the Colorado Supreme Court said in its ruling.

The Eagles donated the monuments to local and state governments.

In its ruling, the Colorado court said that the monument "does not have the purpose or effect of endorsing religion, nor does it suggest the state's disapproval of any religious or non-religious choices protected by our federal and state constitutions."

Robert Tiernan, a lawyer for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, called the court ruling "ridiculous."

"If the Ten Commandments doesn't convey a religious message, what does?" he asked.