Quarterly Newsletter of the Alliance for Tolerance and Freedom
Fall 2000
10 Commandments Displayed At Manheim Township: 
Moses Painting Draws Complaints

Just before the start of this school year, two students from Manheim Township (MT) High School in Lancaster County, PA, informed the Alliance for Tolerance and Freedom that a painting of Moses chiseling the 10 Commandments on top of a mountain with lightning bolts streaking across the sky was hanging prominently outside the library at Manheim Township High School.  The title of the painting by Violet Oakley: Revealed Law: The Mosaic Decalogue.

I went to the school, requesting to see the painting.  Not only was the painting exactly as described, but the actual 10 Commandments were written in calligraphy at the bottom of the painting.  In addition, a plaque was bolted to the wall next to the painting.  Any excuse that the Moses painting had been placed there purely for aesthetic reasons would have been quickly dashed upon reading the plaque next to the painting. 

The first of many indications that this was a political move by someone to test the limits of church/state separation was that the plaque was signed by PA State Representative Paul I. Clymer.  The plague states that “The Mosaic Decalogue” was painted as one of the murals in the PA Supreme Court in 1926, which hangs directly behind the bench of the Supreme Court with a mural of Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount, comprising the representation of “Revealed Law”. 
“What an irony that 
the 10 Commandments 
are displayed so 
prominently in the PA Supreme Court, yet such displays are prohibited and challenged in classrooms and courthouses across our Nation”

 - from a plaque in Manheim Township High School

“What an irony that the Ten Commandments are displayed so prominently in the PA Supreme Court, yet such displays are prohibited and challenged in classrooms and courthouses across our Nation,” continues the obviously challenging political statement.
I called and left two messages for the principal.  I called Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU), and discovered that Social Studies teacher, Pat Mowrey,  had also seen the Moses picture and had called AU.  I called Dr. Sharron Nelson, Superintendent at Manheim Township, only to discover that she had just found out about it and was currently looking into the situation and would call me back. 

The return phone call was anything but courteous.  Her tone of voice was combative and sarcastic, and she declared, “The offensive artwork was taken down, we don’t want to offend anyone.”  Trying to talk to her further, requesting that she change her tone because I was representing two students, a teacher, and myself as an alumna of MT, she tried to make clear that the “purpose” of the picture was purely to teach students about different types of art, and that the picture would be moved to the art room instead.

I don’t know who spoke to Sharron Nelson, but it is obvious that whoever got that picture and plaque placed in the high school had more than an art lesson in mind.  Furthermore, the 10 Commandments hanging in the art room is not any more acceptable than the 10 Commandments hanging in the hall.  AU is going to have a few things to say about this.

This incident made me wonder how many other schools had this picture and plaque suddenly appear. Who is behind this? Are my tax dollars going to support this at the state level?  Who placed the picture in Manheim Township, and who convinced Dr. Nelson that it was not a political statement? Is the Religious Right using this painting as a means to continue to chip away at the separation of church and state, and get the 10 Commandments in the public schools despite Supreme Court rulings? 

Answers to these and other questions may never be known, but we will be trying to find out.  Stay tuned, stay alert, and stay ever vigilant!

Article written by Laura Montgomery Rutt, Executive Director of the Alliance and  PA Regional Organizer of Americans United.

See Americans United web page at

By Dustin M. Imhoff, Alliance Board Member

We believe an avowed homosexual is not a role model for the values espoused in the Scout Oath and Law." This statement, taken from a National Boy Scouts of America (BSA) News Release, dated June 28, 2000, reaffirms the BSA's policy on discrimination against gay male leaders and members.  The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken, but many questions surrounding this issue still remain.  What are the long-term effects of the discriminatory policies of the BSA?  How will the U.S. Supreme Court ruling affect those already involved in Scouts?  If it follows the current path, the future of Scouting in America looks bleak, dismal, and devoid of diversity.

 The blatant hypocrisy incorporated in the Boy Scout organization must be denounced.  The BSA not only encourages but expects its members and leaders to be honest, open, trustworthy people.  However, if you are a boy in a scouting organization who is gay, you must not be honest OR open about who you are.  "Boy Scouting makes no effort to discover the sexual orientation of any person.  Scouting's message is compromised when prospective leaders present themselves as role models inconsistent with Boy Scouting's understanding of the Scout Oath and Law (BSA News Release, 6/28/00)." The law referred to is that of page 419 of the Webelos Scoutbook; the Scout Oath:  "On my honor I will do my best to...keep myself morally straight."  However, a passage directly under the Scout Oath in the New Boy Scout Handbook reads, "You should respect and defend the rights of all people."  Interesting how the BSA misuses the words respect and defend, isn't it?  How can one respect and defend the rights of others and discriminate against a whole group of people at the same time?  It seems the National Council of BSA is a bit confused.

 The most depressing aspect of this unfortunate situation is that of the boys themselves.  What must it be like to be a young boy in the BSA who is questioning his sexuality?  After hearing of this U.S. Supreme Court case, what young person is going to be bold enough to step up and say, "I'm a Scout, and I'm gay?"  The discriminatory policies of the BSA are only going to dissuade young people from dealing with their sexuality, thus possibly harming their mental well-being and putting them at risk for suicide. 

  And what of those older Scouts who have received the highest honor, the Eagle Scout?  After seeing Eagle Scout James Dale stripped of his honor as an Eagle Scout...what message are the current Boy Scouts receiving?  By the BSA's actions toward James Dale, we see that even if one is a well-rounded, kind, honest, trustworthy individual who works to better his community, the mere suggestion of a non-heterosexual orientation destroys the possibility of being recognized for the goals achieved.  Is this the message we want our young men and boys to be hearing?  How can encouraging self-hatred and discrimination foster responsible citizens? 

 We as a community must do all we can to encourage young people of all walks of life to be responsible citizens.  I do not believe the Boy Scouts of America have lived up to this, and I will continue to be vocal until justice is served.  We must not be silent...for young boys and men all across our nation are counting on us.  We must not let them down...for they are an important part of the future of our country.


H.R. 4892, which would revoke the Federal Charter of the Boy Scouts of America, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The United Way of Lancaster County uses United Way Funds to support the discriminatory policies of the Boy Scouts of America to the tune of $148,000.00 per year. With the ordinance in the city, there could be some interesting issues coming up this fall.

From The Interfaith Working Group :
 If you are looking for alternatives for participation and/or donation, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights notes that the Girl Scouts, the Boys and Girls Clubs, the National 4-H Council, and the Campfire Boys and Girls do not discriminate. 


Education and Vigilance (EVN) Update:
Back in August, Floyd Cochran, former racist and founder of EVN, predicted that the Aryan Nation will move to the east coast ( Pennsylvania ).  The following was posted by August  Kreis, an Aryan Nation member and coordinator, announced that an Aryan Nation will be set up in Potter County, PA ( 3rd paragraph )-- “We need to prepare ourselves now,” said Cochran, “ for if the Aryans get a foothold here in the east we are in for some dangerous times.”


As most of you are aware the trial against Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryan Nations and 83 year old Pastor Richard G. Butler began Monday, August 28th. This lawsuit brought against a White Christian church by a vicious jew named Morris Seligman Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center to bankrupt Aryan Nations believing to put the "church" out of business.

How much longer are the White people of America going to stand for this kind of attack by the jews against them? How much longer is it going to take for His True chosen race to awake to the menace of this blight of parasitic Satanic jews sucking the very life from our nation? Destroying in bits and pieces everything that our forefathers fought for and we once held dear in this "Christian Republic"… The Aryan Nations will never die as it is foretold in biblical prophecy. Our people will always have a place to gather in peace with their families and kinsfolk. Soon there will be a place such as Aryan Nations church grounds here on the east coast. The place will be here at "The Last Outpost" in God's Country, Potter County Pennsylvania! The parasitic jews will NEVER defeat us, for there will always be those that do not fall prey to their brainwashing of the masses.

Let's make this attack against the Aryan Nations a rallying cry... NO, a BATTLE CRY across this nation for ALL White Aryans to stand and say NO MORE! Enough is Enough! Let's make THEM pay dearly for what they have done to His/Our Race over the generations and make the "bastards" SUFFER like they've never suffered before!

Let's give them the holocaust that they so often talk about. Let's make THEM worry, WHO'S NEXT instead of the other way around. No more should this filthy, vile parasitic VERMIN feel safe and smug in their beds at night in this nation or any other! Let us, His Battle-axe and Weapons of War, bring to a fulfillment the prophecy of Matthew 13!

This information was brought to our attention by Floyd Cochran.  Floyd Cochran, the former national press secretary and chief spokesperson for the Idaho-based Aryan Nation, is currently one of the most recognized and respected figures on the anti-hate, anti-violence speakers circuit. He has lectured widely at universities, colleges, high schools, and humanrights conferences throughout the United States. Cochran is the founder and director of Education & Vigilance, a grassroots organization that monitors
and exposes white supremacist activity.

To contact Floyd Cochran email
or visit his page site at