Supreme Court Orders Ten Commandments Statue To Be Removed From Oklahoma Capitol

| by Lauren Briggs

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the Ten Commandments monument at the state capitol must be taken down.

The Supreme Court cited Article 2, Section 5, of the Oklahoma constitution, to ban the religious monument from public property: "No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such."

State Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office argued in favor of keeping the monument, stating that it was privately funded, and that the monument was approved as a “secular, not sacred” monument, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court recently approved a Ten Commandments monument in Texas, reports News OK.

The Ten Commandments has played a historical role in the founding of this nation,” said Pruitt’s spokesman Aaron Cooper. “And because it honors the historical role of the commandments, the Ten Commandments monument on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds is constitutional.”

Pruitt has his fair share of supporters in Oklahoma, a socially conservative state, but the monument itself, erected in 2012, is not without controversy.

While supporters say that the statue represented a historic event, not a religion, a Satanist group used the same argument to request a statue of Satan with a horns, wings, a long beard, and the head of a goat. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti monster, a Hindu leader, and animal rights activists have each submitted their own requests for commemorative statues, according to KOCO 5 News.

In October 2014, 29-year-old Oklahoman Michael Tate Reed Jr. ran over the monument and was charged with destroying state property. He had previously been arrested for making threatening statements against President Barack Obama and later told the Secret Service that he was directed by Satan to urinate on and destroy the Ten Commandments monument, reports News OK.

Many supporters and those who funded the monument hope that the attorney general will appeal the ruling.

Sources: News OK, KOKO 5 News, News OK

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons