Beliefs

Oklahoma to remove Ten Commandments monument from Capitol by Oct. 12

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

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  (Reuters)  An Oklahoma commission voted Tuesday (Sept. 29) 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.

The Capitol Preservation Commission, which oversees art displays in public spaces, voted 7-1 to authorize the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to remove the monument.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court in June had ordered the monument, which was erected in 2012, removed because the state constitution bans the use of state property for the benefit of a religion.

A judge earlier this month gave Oklahoma until Oct. 12 to remove the 6-foot-tall monument, denying a request from state Attorney General Scott Pruitt to leave it in place. The monument has strong support of Oklahoma’s Republican leadership.

John Estus, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said it was unclear where the monument would be placed.

Oklahoma Representative Mike Ritze, a Republican, paid $10,000 to erect the monument, which sparked petitions from other groups for room to place their own monuments on Capitol grounds including New York-based Satanists and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The state Supreme Court’s ruling in June prompted some conservative legislators to look at impeaching the justices or amending the Oklahoma Constitution.

(Reporting by Heide Brandes)

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  • Yeah, no intermingling of church and state here! What buffoons these conservative Christians are – I detest the use of the title Christian for these false prophets and evil perpetrators of mis-represented faith.

  • It was either that or allow both a Satanist and a Hindu statue on the same grounds. Its funny how there suddenly was a ban on such monuments when the Hindus proposed theirs. This way they could avoid the embarrassing news of the excuses given to deny a religion of almost a billion people worldwide.

  • Fixed that for you.
    “That would be inclusive if other statues were erected. We don’t want that. We want Christianity to be the only religion acknowledged by the state”.

    Poe’s law dictates that sarcasm doesn’t work well in print without some kind of cues.

  • As a theistic liberal and United Methodist Lay Servant, my view is often at odds with Larry’s but everything he’s said here is right. Forced religion is worse than no religion, and the increasing shrillness of the dominionist mob is becoming increasingly untenable. Look, this Republican pol spent $10,000 of his own money to build this monstrosity and by placing it where he did it was obvious it does not honor deity and violates Matthew 6:5 (“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.”).

  • I am happy to say that I generally agree with your views and posts.

    Although these sorts of public religious displays are not my cup of tea, I believe they can be acceptable. But on the condition that they are not exclusive in nature. That many different religions are represented (“Judeo” and “Christian” does not count in this instance). Inclusion and ecumenialism being the goal here. A goal the OK legislature was obviously not looking for.

    When only one religion is represented in public space, such as this, it gives the impression that the government will only take people seriously if they are of that faith. It undermines the integrity of the government and cheapens the religious belief.

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