- The Washington Times - Monday, October 4, 2004

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A Theodore Roosevelt quote displayed on the wall of a courthouse will be covered after critics complained that the comment about Christianity violated the separation of church and state.

Roosevelt’s remark that “the true Christian is the true citizen” was part of a longer address that the president gave at a YMCA convention more than a century ago.

The words are engraved in gold letters on a mahogany wall in a Riverside County courtroom. The quote is one of several by Roosevelt that have graced the courthouse for 70 years.

The Anti-Defamation League sent a letter to the court in July asking that the quote be covered because it could be interpreted as a direct “endorsement of Christian faith.”

Alison Mayersohn, associate director of the group’s Pacific Southwest region, said that without the original context, the quote could be perceived as “equating Christianity and good citizenship.”

Officials said they will cover the quote when the court is in session but will leave it on display during historical tours.


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