Oklahoma Refuses To Remove 10 Commandments Monument After Court Ruling

| by Lauren Briggs

The Ten Commandments monument is here to stay, Gov. Mary Fallin told Tulsa World on Tuesday, even though the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the monument violates the state Constitution and must be removed.

The Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has asked the state Supreme Court to reconsider last week’s 7-2 ruling, which stated that the religious monument, which is on Capitol grounds, is in violation of Article 2, Section 5, of the Oklahoma constitution. The article states that no public money or property may be used in support of religious purposes. While the monument’s supporters argued that the monument is commemorating a historical event, the courts ruled that it indirectly benefits the Jewish and Christian faiths.

If the appeal process is successful, lawmakers plan on putting this article up for vote, to let the people decide whether or not they wish to remove it from the constitution, so that the privately funded monument will not be up for debate in the future. In the meantime, the Ten Commandments will stay put, says Fallin.

“Oklahoma is a state where we respect the rule of law, and we will not ignore the state courts or their decisions,” Fallin told Tulsa World. “However, we are also a state with three co-equal branches of government.”

If religious monuments are allowed on state property, supporters of the Ten Commandments statue might be in for a treat. Satanists, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a Hindu, and animal rights activists previously submitted requests to place their own commemorative monuments on state grounds, reports KOCO 5 News.

Satanists raised over $28,000 for their statue through crowd funding last year. They were a vocal part of the Ten Commandments monument’s opposition.

"The entire point of our effort was to offer a monument that would complement and contrast the Ten Commandments, reaffirming that we live in a nation that respects plurality, a nation that refuses to allow a single viewpoint to co-opt the power and authority of government institutions," Satanic Temple spokesman Doug Mesner, a proponent of the separation of church and state, told Catholic Online in an email.

Sources: Tulsa World, Catholic Online, KOCO 5 News
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons