Just days after a monument displaying the Ten Commandments was placed on the grounds of the Oklahoma state Capitol, it is already drawing criticism from the ACLU of Oklahoma and atheist organizations.
Oklahoma Rep. Mike Ritze proposed legislation for the privately funded monument in 2009. The proposal received bi-partisan support from both the state House of Representatives and the Senate, with former Democratic Gov. Brad Henry signing the bill into law.
Ritze and his family paid approximately $10,000 to have the 6-foot-tall monument built and erected on the Capitol grounds, but groups like the ACLU and Freedom From Religion Foundation are already voicing their concerns.
The legislation establishing the monument recognizes:
- "That the Ten Commandments are an important component of the foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma;
- That the courts of the United States of America and of various states frequently cite the Ten Commandments in published decisions; and
- Acknowledgements of the role played by the Ten Commandments in our nation’s heritage are common throughout America.”
Although the ACLU of Oklahoma has stated that no decision has been made about whether it will file a lawsuit, you can expect that this fight is far from over.
And, if and when a lawsuit is filed, Liberty Institute is ready. The legislation specifies that we are “authorized to prepare and present a legal defense of the monument.” We stand ready to defend the monument at no cost to the taxpayers.
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About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.