The Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma has been ordered removed from the State Capitol grounds. This decision by the Supreme Court countered strong support of the statue from Republicans in the state government, and must be carried out by October 12.
A Pennsylvania school faced a similar verdict as previously reported by the Inquisitr, with the Freedom from Religion Foundation stating that the statue at Connellsville Junior High School was a violation of the separation of church and state. This particular separation has seen opposite results elsewhere, however.
In Kentucky, taxpayers may be paying to have signs stating “In God We Trust” placed in legislative meeting rooms. Perhaps the difference is that Kentucky is situated in the Bible Belt, a collection of states in the South which still honor Biblical law? It’s in the same state that county clerk Kim Davis was arrested and then given the chance to return to her job after refusing to sign marriage certificates for gay couples.
Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments monument had been targeted for removal as of this past July, when Attorney General Scott Pruitt offered support for the privately funded statue to remain. However, Fox News states that Oklahoma Chief Justice John Reif says Pruitt’s opinion was taken into account but eventually discounted. Reif said that the monument had no legal grounds to remain, being a direct religious symbol.
“The Ten Commandments monument in this case does explicitly ‘display’ and ‘articulate’ ideas that directly pertain to the Judeo-Christian system of religion.”
Others believe that the United States of America was founded on the word of God, such as interim chairwoman of the Oklahoma Republican Party Estela Hernandez. She offered to display the monument outside the Republican headquarters in Oklahoma City, “It really defines us as a nation. We really are a moral nation and, when we look at those laws that are enshrined in that monument, that’s what we follow today.”
Hernandez isn’t the only one willing to help relocate and keep the Ten Commandments Oklahoma monument publicly available for viewing. According to Reuters, lawmakers feel the statue is more than just a religious spectacle, and also meant to mark a historical event.
The fight for equality among religions for public display is also shared by other belief system groups. In recent years, Satanists, members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and other religious groups had been given a place to display their own versions in Florida for Christmas. The Satanic display was quickly vandalized as previously reported by the Inquisitr, but the vandal was arrested for her show of protest.
Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments monument isn’t the only historical landmark having been affected in recent times either. Due to the South Carolina shooting of a Bible study group, the Confederate flag and statues of men involved in the Civil War on the Confederate side have also been ordered removed.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) September 30, 2015
Only one state seems to have notably defied the order, says Business Insider, as Georgia is said to be keeping the Confederate flag on their license plates, though it’s a smaller image now. While Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments statue might not be as potentially offensive, some might still have problems with what it symbolizes.
Much like the Christmas display in Florida, some religious groups had also requested their own symbols to be added to the grounds where the monument was erected back in 2012. Among the requests were a seven-foot statue of Satan as Baphomet, as well as one from a Hindu leader in Nevada.
What do you think of the order to remove the Ten Commandments monument from Oklahoma’s State Capitol grounds? Are they doing the right thing, or is the United States Supreme Court taking the separation of church and state too far?
[Feature image via Jana Birchum / Getty Images]