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Judge rules for other religious texts in court

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A Wake County judge says any religious text can be used to swear in a witness or juror in the state's courts, not just the Bible.

The American Civil Liberties Union argued a law that some judges said required the courts to use the Bible alone is unconstitutional because it favors Christianity over other religions.

The ACLU sought a court order clarifying that the law is broad enough to allow the use of multiple religious texts, or else having the law declared unconstitutional.

State law allows witnesses testifying in court to take their oath in three ways: by laying a hand over "the Holy Scriptures;" by saying "so help me God" without the use of a religious book; or by an affirmation using no religious symbols.

A judge initially dismissed the ACLU's lawsuit in 2005.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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