An US appeals court ruled on Friday that a statue of Christ standing on a patch of privately-owned land within a city park violates the separation of Church and State mandated by the 1st amendment.
   In 1998, a group of citizens of Marshfield, Wisconsin, paid the city $A34,074 to head off the attempts of an atheist group to have the statue removed.
   Circuit Court Judge Michael Kanne wrote that the layout of the park could lead 'a reasonable person to conclude that the statue is part of the public park and that the government, rather than a private entity, endorses religion'. The court suggested the erection of a fence or wall to make it clear that the statue was not part of the park, but left the details of implementation to the district court.
   Zenit (available soon) 7/2/00

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