EVERETT, Wash. – The city of Everett (search) is the new battleground in the debate over the Ten Commandments and where to draw the line in the separation of church and state.
A granite monument of the Ten Commandments (search) is tucked among some bushes in front of the Everett Police Station, along with more visible World War I and II memorials standing near the same corner of the building.
A 20-year-old local man has filed a lawsuit in federal court, saying the Ten Commandments monument on city property amounts to the government endorsing religion.
The American Civil Liberties Union (search) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State (search) have supported the legal action brought by Jesse Card, who went to high school in Everett and is an atheist.
Despite some recent court rulings that have gone against other similar markers on public property, Everett is fighting the lawsuit, claiming its monument has historical importance. It was donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1959 as part of a nationwide push to give young people a moral compass to live by.
City officials say public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the Ten Commandments where it is.
They believe they’ll be successful in their battle because they’re arguing their case on “historical” rather than “religious” grounds — unlike Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (search), who lost his fight to keep the Ten Commandments monument in the state courthouse and was ousted from his post in the process.
But a group of six religious leaders in Everett wants the marker moved, saying it’s tearing the community apart.
Click on the video box at the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' Dan Springer.