The American Civil Liberties Union has set a Monday deadline for Slidell City Court officials to remove a portrait of Jesus from the court's lobby.

The ACLU had set yesterday as the deadline to remove the portrait, which is included in a display that also contains the words, "To know peace, obey these laws."

Judge Jim Lamz received a letter from the Louisiana A-C-L-U granting the extension until Monday.

Lamz says the organization was trying to strong-arm court officials into a making a quick decision by creating a controversy when no one had ever complained to court officials about the display, and then setting a short, arbitrary deadline for its removal.

The court has asked an expert on constitutional issues to help determine whether the display is against the law.

The dispute began June 20th when the A-C-L-U sent a letter to the court saying the display violates the First Amendment and must come down, or the court could face a lawsuit. Specifically, the organization thinks the display violates the establishment clause, which holds that church and state must remain separate.