Some Bloomington Christians are crying foul over the city's refusal to allow Ten Commandments tablets near Tibetan artwork and photos at City Hall.
Christian residents placed the tablets and some literature in the atrium in reaction to the Tibetan culture display, which city officials say celebrates next week's visit to Bloomington by the Dalai Lama, the chief monk of a form of Buddhism.
But Kevin Robling, attorney for the city, removed the tablets and the literature, saying the Christians failed to obtain permission and inappropriately tried to promote religion on government property.
Christians wanting the tablets to be displayed called Robling's position inconsistent with the city's allowance of the Tibetan display, saying it is a nod to Buddhism.
"It's clearly a religious display, and it's not our wish for them to take theirs down, but since it is a religious display, it's our wish to have our Ten Commandments put back up," Bloomington resident Amy Burnitt told 6News' Ben Morriston
City officials say the Tibetan display is artwork, not a religious display.
Robling said the Christians who left the tablets were "trying to promote a religion, which is contrary to the First Amendment as stated by the United States Supreme Court."
Bloomington officials say the Tibetan display in City Hall's atrium is artwork, not a religious display. Christians who tried to place Ten Commandments tablets in the atrium disagree.
He also said the Christians' attempt might be politically motivated.
"We have an election in 18 days. I think what you've got is a group of people who are using their religion as a political tool, and frankly I think that's a shame," Robling said.
Bloomington resident Shirley Douglas, a backer of the effort to put the tablets in the atrium, said she believes the city is discriminating against Christians.
"(The Tibetan display) is totally a religious display, and since it is religious in nature, I feel that the Christians in Bloomington should be allowed to have our symbol of Christianity," Douglas said.
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