Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says the Ten Commandments monument is not coming down. The decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordering the monument located on state land to be removed is “wrong,” according to Fallin.
The Ten Commandments monument case was taken up by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in June. The justices decided that the statue only benefits those belonging to the Christian or Jewish faith and, therefore, violates the state constitution. The court ruled 7 to 2 that the Ten Commandments are “obviously religious in nature.” The decision overturned a ruling by a lower court which determined that the Oklahoma monument could remain on state grounds.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt feels the Ten Commandments monument is historical and not specifically religious in nature. Pruitt also argued that the Oklahoma monument is nearly identical to a Texas monument that the U.S. Supreme Court deemed constitutional.
“Quite simply, the Oklahoma Supreme Court got it wrong. The court completely ignored the profound historical impact of the Ten Commandments on the foundation of Western law,” Attorney General Pruitt added.
Governor Mary Fallin said the Oklahoma monument battle is far from over. Fallin filed a petition requesting that the court rehear the case. The governor has also voiced her support for a bill designed to amend the Oklahoma Constitution in a way which permits the Ten Commandments monument to remain where it has been located for decades.
Currently Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution reads:
“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.”
“Oklahoma is a state where we respect the rule of law, and we will not ignore the state courts or their decisions,” Fallin said. “However, we are also a state with three co-equal branches of government.”
Representative John Paul Jordan supports the decision by Mary Fallin to work to preserve the Ten Commandments monument.
“After reviewing the Supreme Court’s 10 Commandments ruling, it is clear that we have a toxic provision in our state Constitution. It was written with discrimination in mind, and like a malignant tumor, needs to be removed completely.”
Jordan argued that the wording of the Oklahoma Supreme Court decision could also lead to the removal of other monuments and Native American artwork displayed at both the state Supreme Court and the capitol building.
What do you think about the Oklahoma Ten Commandments monument battle and the effort to preserve the monument by Governor Mary Fallin?
[Image via: Wikimedia Commons]