Fight for the Quran in Court
(05/08/07 -- RALEIGH) (WTVD) -- The two-year legal battle about religion in the court room continued Tuesday. In North Carolina, the Bible is a fixture of the witness stand, but the American Civil Liberties Union says it's not enough.
The group wants holy books for all religions.
It's the first step before testifying under oath. The witness places his or her hand on the King James Bible and swears to tell the truth.
However, only a handful of states still use an actual Bible. Most ask witnesses to swear to tell the truth without a holy book.
The ACLU says if N.C. courts are going to offer the Bible for a promise to tell the truth, the courts should also allow other holy scriptures for worshipers of other religions.
That means offering the Quran for Muslims.
"The government may neither favor any particular religion, nor may the government discriminate against any particular religion," said Jennifer Rudinger, ACLU.
Though it is seldom explained in court, N.C. law does allow for oaths without the Bible and without an oath to God. The attorney general's office said that should be enough.
"As a practical matter, when the person to be sworn walks into the courtroom, who is going to be required to provide the Quran and the Book of Wicca and whatever the religion in," asked Valerie Bateman, assistant attorney general. "Who is going to have to provide that?"
The judge stressed the main purpose of the oath.
"The court has the responsibility to make sure every witness understands their testimony is a solemn and conscientious act," Judge Paul Ridgeway said. "And on the other hand, you viewing an oath in some sense as a profession of one's faith."
The ACLU said it's the legislature that placed religion into the courts, and if holy scriptures are not allowed in, then all of them, even the Bible, should be kept out.
Judge Ridgeway said he is going to take some time before ruling. His decision could effect courthouses across the state.
- Parts of Triangle still paralyzed by weather damage 33 min ago
- Powerful quake shakes Northern California
- Parents on smartphones ignore their kids, study finds
- ABC11 channel changes coming to Time Warner customers
- Oakwood home causing neighborhood divide
- Photos: 10 suspects caught in the act
- Conn. shooter's dad wishes he'd never been born
- Neighborhood blocked off, police search for suspect
- Van der Sloot to be extradited to US in 2038
- Family displaced in Fayetteville house fire
- Judge weighs new evidence in Army sex...
37 min ago
- Parts of Triangle still paralyzed by...
31 min ago
- Suspicious package found at Goodyear plant
31 min ago