Less than one year after it was erected, a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma is under fire. The ACLU of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to have the monument removed from the Oklahoma state Capitol grounds, and Liberty Institute is assisting the Oklahoma Attorney General in defending the display.
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. The law specifically authorizes Liberty Institute to “prepare and present a legal defense of the monument.”
Ritze and his family paid approximately $10,000 to have the 6-foot-tall monument built and installed. The monument is modeled after the Ten Commandments Monument displayed outside the Texas state Capitol. In 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court held that identical Ten Commandments monument constitutional in Van Orden v. Perry, a case that Liberty assisted the Texas Attorney General in defending.
The Oklahoma 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.”
It’s no surprise that the ACLU filed this lawsuit. The anti-faith organization, and other atheist groups, declared their criticism of the monument just days after it was placed on the Capitol grounds. The ACLU and others have made it their mission to eliminate any trace of religion from public view. Legislative prayer, city-sponsored senior wellness centers, town Christmas displays, sacred veterans memorials…nothing and no one is safe from their attacks. However, Liberty Institute is fighting back.
Liberty is the largest legal organization dedicated solely to defending and restoring religious liberty in America – in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. We offer legal assistance free of charge, and we are able to do this because of your continued support. You are helping us defend religious expression in the public square and defeat radical groups across the country that are seeking to religiously cleanse our nation.
Please consider a gift today to help us continue this important work. As we have proven time and time again, when we have the money to defend our constitutional freedoms, and when people are bold enough to stand, we WIN!
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.