Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ten Commandments Victory in Oklahoma

There’s been an important victory for religious freedom in Oklahoma. An Oklahoma County judge ruled that a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Capitol building does not violate the state constitution. Three years ago, state Representative Mike Ritze spent $10,000 of his own money to pay for the construction. The monument was approved by the legislature, but no public money was spent. It was part of a 100-acre complex that has more than 50 other monuments.

The ACLU sued, claiming that the monument’s presence on Capitol grounds violates the state constitution’s ban against using public property to support a religion. Oklahoma should welcome people of all faiths, they said, and the government shouldn’t tell you what you should believe. The ACLU claimed the plaintiffs they represented weren’t offended by the Ten Commandments themselves, but were offended that the government was using something sacred for political purposes. The monument’s presence at the Capitol cheapened a sacred text. Now, the suggestion that the ACLU is worried about Scripture being cheapened is one of the most laughable things we’ve heard. An Oklahoma judge ruled that the monument can stay. The state attorney general pointed out that the Ten Commandments are of huge historic value. He cited the “historical role the text has played in the founding of our nation.” The ACLU shouldn’t be optimistic about their chances in an appeal. Ten Commandments monuments have been consistently upheld. It’s worth noting that there’s nearly always a victory when the Ten Commandments are involved.

In October, after this court victory, a man drove a car into the monument, smashing it into pieces. State Rep. Mike Ritze, who raised the funds to build the original monument, said they are now building an identical Ten Commandments monument to replace it.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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