A Bible verse will remain on display in a US courthouse after a mayor rejected the demands of an atheist group to remove it.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) claimed displaying the verse – in sight for more than 50 years – is “inappropriate” because “it conveys government support for religion”.
The verse in question, Psalm 89:14, reads: “Justice and judgement are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face” – King James Version.
The FFRF had written a letter to the Mayor of Henderson County, Tenessee, asking for it to be removed from the courthouse wall “as soon as possible”.
But Mayor Dan Hughes has said he was surprised by the request and has no plans to remove it.
Hughes said he has received positive feedback from residents regarding his decision and is now considering adding an additional Bible verse to the courthouse wall.
He told the FFRF: “Our community is based on the belief of a true and living God.”
‘In God we trust’
But the FFRF said it was “alarmed” by his decision and will ask the mayor to review the situation further or face legal action.
In 2013, the FFRF was defeated in its case to remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from US currency.
New York District Court Judge Harold Baer dismissed the case, which saw FFRF co-president Dan Barker claim the motto had no place in government.