Okla. Ten Commandments statue moves to think tank near Capitol

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An Oklahoma commission voted Sept. 29, 2015 to remove a privately funded granite monument of the Ten Commandments from the state Capitol grounds, after a judge ordered its removal by Oct. 12. Religion News Service photo by Greg Horton

An Oklahoma commission voted Sept. 29, 2015 to remove a privately funded granite monument of the Ten Commandments from the state Capitol grounds, after a judge ordered its removal by Oct. 12. Religion News Service photo by Greg Horton

OKLAHOMA CITY (RNS) Workers began digging out the Ten Commandments monument that has been on Oklahoma’s Capitol grounds since 2012 on Monday night (Oct. 5), well ahead of the court-ordered removal date of Oct. 12.

John Estus, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said the decision to do the work after dark was based on public safety and security.

By Tuesday, the monument was already installed at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs just a few blocks from the Capitol.

The OCPA is a privately funded public policy research organization that provides research data and information to legislators about state-level issues from a free-market perspective.

Thus ended a long culture war in which state lawmakers tried to save the monument but in the end only opened the door for other groups, including Satanists and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, to apply for permission to erect their own monuments on Capitol grounds.


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“The OCPA was the first to make an offer to take the monument,” Estus said. “They poured the concrete base for it last week, so it was an easy matter to drive it down the street and install it.”

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the removal of the monument this summer, ruling that it violated the state constitution’s ban on the use of state property for the benefit of religion.

The Republican Party of Oklahoma also offered a home to the monument.

Estus said the visibility at OCPA is much better than at the Capitol. In fact, the monument will face one of the busiest streets in the Capitol area, North Lincoln, so it will be viewed by thousands of commuters every day. The former location was tucked up against the north side of the Capitol, nearly invisible to drivers.

The OCPA will take care of ongoing costs, and the monument is officially “on loan” to the organization.

YS/MG END HORTON

  • Sam Spade

    Actually it got moved to a no-think tank.

  • Jack

    Except that the Ten Commandments don’t say anything about getting drunk, being mean (genocide seems pretty mean to me, yet Yahweh commanded it to happen on more than one occasion) gambling or general ‘sleeping around’.
    You seem to be like most biblically illiterate Christians, AAA, in that you have no idea what’s contained in the Bible you thump in others faces.

  • Larry

    AAA, nobody has to care what you think people need to do to be saved. Our government is not your church. Our government can’t use its resources to endorse your church. The monument was an eyesore to the 1st Amendment. ‘

    Its on private land now. So much the better.

    Besides, the only part of the decalogue which has any relevance in our society are the same three rules every society has (no lying, murder or theft), regardless of their religious belief. The ones absolutely necessary for any large scale form of social order. If you required divine command to follow those rules, we should be afraid of you and what you will do next.

  • Christopher Blackwell

    AAA

    As long as it is not on taxpayer supported land I don’t care where you put it. There has never been any controversy about putting it on private land, or on a church’s property. That is perfectly legal and okay.

    It is only unconstitutional to do it on government land as the government is not allowed to show preference for any religion out of the many practiced in this land. Law abiding Christians are never a problem. The other kind fill our prisons.

    I doubt that driving past it will have any affect as it is rarely practiced even by Christians in this country and certainly never by politicians.

  • AAA

    Christopher-Thanks for the feedback and you are right about the
    so called “Christians” who don’t even follow the Commandments
    which is why they love to rail about abortion/homosexuals so that
    all of their sin doesn’t seem so bad. You make very good points.