TEN COMMANDMENT PLAQUE DRAWING MEDIA TO CLAY - "Even If The Supreme Court Orders It, I Won't Take Them Down"

With more TV stations and news media coming to Clay County, local residents are waiting for County Commissioner Jimmy Sams to be on Fox News and CNN with his quote regarding the removal of the Ten Commandments from the Clay courthouse.

"Even if the Supreme Court orders it. I won't take them down," said Sams at Monday's commission meeting where the ACLU advised the body that a separation of church and state suit could be coming.

Monday's meeting was held before a large number of Christians who want the commandments to remain in the commission chambers, but a fellow commissioner proclaimed Sams used the issue to get elected.

Andrew Schneider, the director of the West Virginia Chapter of the ACLU, says a possible legal challenge would be aimed at helping both sides of the issue. He says the posting of the plaque imposes a religion on all of those who enter the room.

Schneider says there are many different versions of the Ten Commandments and the government should not select any one of those versions at the expense of the others. He says it keeps religion free and allows government to represent us all.

If the ACLU decides to move forward with a lawsuit, the commission has approved the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy to represent the county for free.

Sam said "I feel that's the moral standards of this country, the Constitution and everything. I think our forefathers, they prayed, to the God that made those Ten Commandments and I think it's a shame that they can't hang up in every public place."

"I made a promise to God that they'd stay even if it cost me my job," he said, indicating he is not willing to consider the need for the separation of church and state as a constitutional issue.

The ACLU has been in Clay before regarding "separation issues," including the holding of "altar calls" at a local school.