Though I recently moved from San Juan County, I lived in Farmington for a number of years and still have strong ties with many in the area and remain a New Mexico resident. Therefore, I am deeply troubled by the Bloomfield City Council's decision to place a religious monument on government property.

Such a monument is in direct violation of the Establishment Cause of the U.S. Constitution. I suggest the Council consider that, despite assertions to the contrary, our nation's governments, from national down to local levels, are required to remain secular. Governments may not show preference for one religious belief system over another.

By putting the Ten Commandments in front of City Hall, the Council is in effect saying "This city government is Christian."

By their very nature, some of those commandments are exclusionary to other belief systems. The first three demand reverence for ONLY the God of the Bible. Of course that's fine if you are Christian or Jewish, but what about Traditional Native Americans, or Hindus, or Sikhs, or Jains, or Rastafarians, or Deists (like Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin), or atheists (like Thomas Paine) or members of the hundreds of other belief systems?

If it is claimed that our nation's laws are based on all the Ten Commandments, the implication is that those who are not Christian or Jewish are breaking at least the spirit of American law by worshiping other gods!

You have the right to believe that if you wish, even preach it in your churches, but as public servants you cannot foist that belief, en masse on your fellow citizens by promoting it in any tax funded forum, i.e. a monument on city property.

The claim by the City Council that the monument is to be part of a larger "historical display" is obviously disingenuous, as The Daily Times reports there isn't even a serious discussion of what the other "items" might be.

The purpose of the Council is crystal clear; they want to get some attention and promote their personal religious beliefs, in direct conflict with constitutional guarantees of separation of state and church.

Perhaps saddest of all, the City Council will no doubt cost the small town of Bloomfield large amounts of taxpayer dollars in legal fees in an attempt to defend this unconstitutional course.

Council members, please reconsider your course.