Oklahoma Ten Commandments Monument Comes Down by Night

Monument-compressed
Photo Credit: WTEN-TV

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — A Ten Commandments monument that had been displayed on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol was removed in the night on Monday.

As previously reported, the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission voted 7-1 last week to give authorization to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to remove the monument following a court order declaring that the display must go.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in June that the monument must be removed because it violates Article 2, Section 5, of the Oklahoma Constitution, which states that property cannot be used to promote a “church denomination or system of religion.”

“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,” the section reads.

The display had been proposed by Rep. Mike Ritze in 2009, and was soon after approved by the largely Republican-run state legislature. Ritze paid over $1000 for the display, and no taxpayer funds were utilized in its creation.

In August 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma filed suit against the display, asserting that its erection on the grounds of the state capitol building was unconstitutional.

The lead plaintiff was liberal minister Bruce Prescott, the director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists. Prescott said that mixing the sacred with the secular in such a manner cheapens the display, and asserted that it violated the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, which says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

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According to reports, Oklahoma officials hired a contractor for $4,700 to remove the monument, and decided to do so in the night so as to avoid protests. Workers began the removal after 10 p.m. on Monday.

“We wanted it to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible, and doing it at night gave us the best opportunity to do that,” Office of Management and Enterprise Services spokesman John Estus told the Associated Press. “The Highway Patrol was also very concerned that having it in the middle of the day could lead to having demonstrations of some kind.”

Security was increased around the display yesterday up until the time of its removal.

The monument has been moved to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, which will store the Decalogue at its facility.


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  • The Last Trump

    Such a symbolic scene.
    As the Commandments fall, so shall the United States of America.
    No need to argue about it. Watch.

    • Joshua Krug

      No, trumpet. Christ came that the world might be saved through him and he is coming to bring salvation to those waiting for him. Rebels last only as long as grass. Can argue as long as there is today.

    • Dan Ham

      What if by making those kind of statements we are aligning and agreeing with what the devil wants to see happen to America? Maybe we should start declaring the opposite, which would be the good news Jesus gave his life for?

      • Looking Glass

        Do you know what the devil wants for America? Or are you just piping what some religious nut preacher has told you?

        • Dan Ham

          Maybe you misunderstood me or I you! Personally I wouldn’t consider Jesus a religious nut. What the devil wants for America is the same he wants for every nation, to kill, steal, and destroy. In other words death loss and destruction are always his signature. Jesus came to destroy his works, to bring abundant life. Jn 10:10. In my previous statement I was merely offering a suggestion that maybe we should be declaring what God wants to happen in the earth versus just allowing or agreeing with the idea that evil will triumph, because it will not.

        • FoJC_Forever

          God is a “religious nut” and He is your Eternal Judge. He has offered and is offering you Salvation. If you call upon Jesus (the) Christ, you can be saved from your Sin.

          Judgement is coming.

    • Names_Stan

      No need to argue about it. Watch.

      Hard to argue with…unless you want to put an expiration date on it.

      Some obsessive-compulsive could come back 15 years from now and point out there’s still a US of A, and all you would have to say is, “Watch and wait”.

      Par for the course in the daily game of doomsday prophecy.

    • Looking Glass

      Nonsense.
      The commandments aren’t falling. They are being relegated to their proper place: in the houses of God.

      • Christina Jackson Lewis

        & in the hearts of men, women & children!

      • Tony

        I live in oklahoma it will be moved not destroyed. Close it will be move but not to a church. I just saw this today. It moves to a Govt place just not at the capital.

        • Greg Page

          Well, if it *genuinely* is moved to “a Govt place” then it’ll have to be moved again. It’s illegal (against the OK constitution) to have it on government property.
          I do wish these monument-erectors would obey the law, instead of breaking it.

    • Valri

      Utter nonsense.
      The Commandments do not belong in a public place. Put them in a churchyard.

      • Zoli Varga

        Was until now !! Some Godly people put them there because God wants to be there . wait for the consequences

        • Greg Page

          If this “God”–presumably an all-powerful being that could create a universe that has *more stars than there are grains of sand on all the beaches of Earth* (a true stat, btw–genuinely wanted that monument to be there, I’d say that he/she/it would have the power to put it there. But that didn’t happen.
          What happened was that some *people* wanted to put it there–people who didn’t think that Oklahoma’s constitution applied to them. (Y’know, because they’re so special and all.)

      • Tony

        I live in oklahoma it will be moved not destroyed. Close it will be move
        but not to a church. I just saw this today. It moves to a Govt place
        just not at the capital. The U.S. Constitution is Based on the Laws of God. And Everyone Christian and Jewish Or NOT need to see them.

  • Joshua Krug

    They must really want wrath.

    • Names_Stan

      Maybe they think it will do more good at the Council of Public Affairs?

      Maybe they don’t accept the premise that God is so totally unable to control His angry emotions. as some people believe Him to be?

      Maybe they believe that the depth and breadth of complexity required to create our universe and our human brains precludes fire and brimstone temper tantrums at the actions of far lesser-developed creatures?

      Maybe the desire of some of those creatures to witness their Creator mercilessly striking down their fellow creatures is much more a product of lower moral reasoning and selfish motive, rather than their certainty of having His motives and desires all figured out beyond any doubt?

      • Joshua Krug

        Or maybe they hate God and want to remove his name from the land. And quite possibly as when a child refuses to listen to it’s mother, the consequences, be they immediate or not begin to reveal themselves. Maybe the don’t believe there is a God who sees. Quite possibly it was erected to prevent the fellows from falling subject to break his code irreparably and thereby dying.

        • Names_Stan

          Yeah, maybe.

          If God really is as immature as a frustrated young mother.

          But regardless how many people believe He is, it doesn’t follow logic. God’s relative nature in any category would be above and beyond any human’s, by eons.

          So relative to maturity or emotional stability or violent vs nonviolent….in every way I believe he is above simplistic human ideals. And I believe it is an error for humans to believe ourselves more…anything, than God.

          Thus, we know there are mothers who don’t scream at their kids in public. We know there are fathers that don’t beat up their kids. We also know that at the high end of moral development and functioning, there are some humans who have amazing capacity to love, care for, and forgive others.

          I’ve always suspected God is amused by the 21st century fundamentalist view of Him as a raving lunatic, far below those special humans mentioned above. And I also suspect He would prefer us have a view of Him as truly great and truly worthy.

          The alternative that most folks are teaching reduces Him to an entity of lesser being than the average wise and caring human…and that’s doing nothing but driving people away from our faith.

    • LadyFreeBird<In God I Trust

      The day wrath comes they can only blame themselves.

      • Greg Page

        Well, they certainly can’t blame something that doesn’t exist!

        • LadyFreeBird<In God I Trust

          I guess we will all see when we take our last breath. Including you.
          Shalom <

          • Greg Page

            Actually, there’s no reason to think that we’ll “see” anything when we’re dead. When human brains are injured, certain deficits follow; when the human brain is *completely* injured–when it’s dead–the deficit will be complete.
            And there’s no reason to think anything else.

          • LadyFreeBird<In God I Trust

            There is more after the brain dies. Death is not the end. Death brings us to Eternity.

    • Tony

      Great is He that is within me Than He that is in the world . PLAIN AND SIMPLY. I live in Oklahoma it will be moved not destroyed. Close it will be move
      but not to a church. I just saw this today. It moves to a Govt place
      just
      not at the capital. The U.S. Constitution is Based on the Laws of God.
      And
      Everyone Christian and Jewish Or NOT need to see them.This is Oklahoma.
      In Oklahoma Constitution it can be in a place of Govt Just not at the
      State Capital.

  • Phillip Masters

    OMG this is sooooo silly the WORLD has gone MAD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tony

      WE ARE IN THE Beginning of the End of days. God will prevail !!! I live in Oklahoma it will be moved not destroyed. Close it will be move
      but not to a church. I just saw this today. It moves to a Govt place
      just
      not at the capital. The U.S. Constitution is Based on the Laws of God.
      And
      Everyone Christian and Jewish Or NOT need to see them.This is Oklahoma.
      In Oklahoma Constitution it can be in a place of Govt Just not at the
      State Capital.

  • Bacchus

    Are they going to remove the mosques or not??????

    • Names_Stan

      There are mosques on government property in Oklahoma? Provide the name and location if you don’t mind. We’ll have that dude taken care of inside of a week.

      But be specific so I can get the lawyers on it right away.

    • flackmaster00

      sadly, there are no mosques on government property. you will have to persecute competing religions in some other way

  • Enrique Anaya

    GOD bless America?

  • mattgo404

    John 3:19-20:

    19″This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20″For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

    Seems to fit pretty well with people who tear down 10 Commandments monuments at night.

    • LadyFreeBird<In God I Trust

      In darkness they work.How very sad.

      • Leon Redmond

        Ironic.

    • QuiHai

      Exodus 20:4 — “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”

      • Rebecca

        Text is not an image.

  • Aaron Lim

    In my opinion, it should not be removed. That’s all… It must remain…

    • LadyFreeBird<In God I Trust

      I agree with you. It did not hurt anyone being there. No one was forced to look at it.

      • Lawrence Agan

        And would you say the same thing if Quran verses were out there too? Maybe some content about Quetzalcoatl?

        • Rebecca

          The quran teaches death to us “infidels”, so yeah, since their aim is to kill. they are not to be posted.

          • Lawrence Agan

            You just assumed I was speaking of Islam only and missed the point. The 2nd was around before Christianity, Islam or before Europe invaded America.

          • Tony

            It should Stay where it is.. I live in Oklahoma it will be moved not destroyed. Close it will be move
            but not to a church. I just saw this today. It moves to a Govt place
            just
            not at the capital. The U.S. Constitution is Based on the Laws of God.
            And
            Everyone Christian and Jewish Or NOT need to see them.This is Oklahoma.
            In Oklahoma Constitution it can be in a place of Govt Just not at the
            State Capital. The Good laws should be seen not hidden. Not matter what Cult has a problem with it. ONLY good laws.

          • Lawrence Agan

            In the Oklahoma constution you will find:

            “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”

            Above, is where the conflict is.

            So now that we diverted. See original question.

    • Tony

      I live in Oklahoma it will be moved not destroyed. Close it will be move
      but not to a church. I just saw this today. It moves to a Govt place
      just
      not at the capital. The U.S. Constitution is Based on the Laws of God.
      And
      Everyone Christian and Jewish Or NOT need to see them.This is Oklahoma.
      In Oklahoma Constitution it can be in a place of Govt Just not at the
      State Capital. I agree it should stay where it is . But at least it will be moved not broken into rubble.

  • Looking Glass

    The 10 commandments have no place in government buildings or on government property. Religion is taught in the church, mosque, or synagog – not in government buildings or on government property.

    • timetorun

      not true. all law is a moral decision. governments that choose to live by God’s laws will be blessed and those who dont will be cursed…its pretty simple. the government pretends that it can walk a line of neutrality, but in God’s eyes, there is no neutral ground–read the old testament and see.

      • Evolution is a fact

        Should we become a Theocracy?

        • Tony

          This is a out of the box thinking but God Created the Big Bang. Darwin is a unproven Theory. I live in Oklahoma it will be moved not destroyed. Close it will be move
          but not to a church. I just saw this today. It moves to a Govt place
          just
          not at the capital. The U.S. Constitution is Based on the Laws of God.
          And
          Everyone Christian and Jewish Or NOT need to see them.This is Oklahoma.
          In Oklahoma Constitution it can be in a place of Govt Just not at the
          State Capital.

    • Tony

      WRONG !!! I live in Oklahoma it will be moved not destroyed. Close it will be move
      but not to a church. I just saw this today. It moves to a Govt place
      just
      not at the capital. The U.S. Constitution is Based on the Laws of God.
      And
      Everyone Christian and Jewish Or NOT need to see them.This is Oklahoma.
      In Oklahoma Constitution it can be in a place of Govt Just not at the
      State Capital. It has EVERY need to be in EVERY Govt of the World !!!!

  • staad

    the problem is when people associate the ten commandments as part of a religion, when all the while every word it says sears and binds their conscience. and they know it and cannot look upon it. and so they decry to remove it.

    Joh_3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.

    • Names_Stan

      every word it says sears and binds their conscience. and they know it and cannot look upon it

      That’s a ridiculous claim.

      A) The DeMille version of The Ten Commandments is the 7th most successful film of all time according to Guiness. Why would basically every single American of the last 50 years have watched that move, if the actual commandments cause some kind of “searing and binding”.
      (Note: I don’t actually know what searing OR binding is, but it’s nicely effective at sounding awful.)

      B) All the Christian denominations I know teach, as Paul did, that we aren’t slaves to the law. Maybe your denomination teaches absolute adherence to the Ten, and maybe everyone outside your denomination really does get sick because of them.

      But I doubt it.

      • Greg Page

        Sure, Paul taught that because he wanted the Church to grow, and he knew that would be tough if gentiles had to keep kosher (not to mention the circumcisions–ouch!).
        But JC himself, at least according to the Bible, said that every bit of the law was to be kept.
        So do you follow Paul–a fallible man–or JC? I guess it depends on how much you like bacon, or being able to “work” (which includes turning on a light) between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday.
        But if you decide to follow Paul, probably you shouldn’t call yourself Christian.

        • Names_Stan

          You’ll be disappointed but you won’t get an argument from me here. I definitely think Jesus’ quote, as recorded, points to a theology of “staying Jewish”.

          He says til “Heaven and earth pass away” if memory serves. That certainly hasn’t happened, so fundamentalist apologists have to do some real somersaults on this one.

          There is a way to get from Jesus to Paul, however. It’s complicated, but some scholars believe one of the closest passages to the Christology evolution is Paul’s hymn in Phil 2:5-11.

          The sequence of the Christology here is that the anointed one was given the name Jesus once he was “exalted”. And, in short, that would have changed the course of lots of things, most especially opening a door for gentile inclusion in the Hebrew God’s plan.

          As to my post, it wasn’t meant to be a theological tome. I posted to someone who is obviously fundamentalist. It’s obvious that orthodoxy teaches “Paul’s way”, which is Sola Gracia. But this guy’s post about the magic searing and binding predicates legalism, even though he would claim to reject legalism.

          It’s this contradiction I was raising, as I often do when people boast.

  • LadyFreeBird<In God I Trust

    🙁

  • thorisasreal

    Just remember kids, the reason you are free to think we are a Christian nation is because we are actually a SECULAR nation by design. America has freedoms not commandments.

    • flackmaster00

      and the secular design is what allowed many of the various sects of christianity to exist in america to this day. people who want christianity/islam/whatever imposed on everyone are simply fascists that dont want others to have a choice in what they believe.

  • Lawrence Agan

    I see nothing wrong with this. It would be a matter of time before another religion cries “that’s not fair” and then their texts would be carved in to another government building or a statue of Ren and Stimpy.

  • Rebecca

    Removing this changes nothing. God still is in control and will have final say when we die as to whether we will go to Heaven or Hell.
    People want to control everything…thinking they are in control. They’ll find out in the end they really had none, other than to accept Him or reject Him. If you accept, your life will go one way, if you reject, your life will go a whole other way and it will lead to an eternity in Hell.
    You may not believe that, but it is true. That is why things like the 10 commandments come under attack. Truth and God’s ways offend most. The Bible tells all about it.

    • Tony

      I live in Oklahoma it will be moved not destroyed. Close it will be move
      but not to a church. I just saw this today. It moves to a Govt place
      just
      not at the capital. The U.S. Constitution is Based on the Laws of God.
      And Everyone Christian and Jewish Or NOT need to see them.This is Oklahoma. In Oklahoma Constitution it can be in a place of Govt Just not at the State Capital.

      • Greg Page

        Nope, Tony, looks like you’re wrong:
        “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.” [emphasis mine]

  • FoJC_Forever

    Unbelievers are afraid of a couple of slabs of rock with Scripture written on them. They are afraid people might believe them and start seeking God. Most won’t, however, but that reality isn’t something which the Unbelievers can grasp, since they are lost in Darkness.

    The Light of God’s Word continues to shine, regardless of the machinations of mankind. Those who seek Truth will find Jesus (the) Christ. Those who find Him will either accept His offer of Salvation or reject it. God will remain God, the Creator of the universe, even if everyone on the planet decides to believe the Devil’s Lie.

    Judgement is coming.

    • Greg Page

      And believers, apparently, are afraid to obey the law. Funny, isn’t it, how some people are all about following the constitution (Oklahoma’s, in this case)–unless it says something they don’t like?
      A little consistency would be refreshing.

      • FoJC_Forever

        The law of the USA or any of it’s states doesn’t supersede God’s Rule and Law. That being said, it’s pathetic that people are concerned about good words written on some stone as if somehow they are going to harm others.

        If you’re married, maybe you wouldn’t mind if you spouse cheated on you, eh? You know, since you appear to agree with those who believe “you shall not commit adultery” is simply a religious belief.

        • Greg Page

          Nice non sequitur there, friend!
          The problem isn’t “good words written on some stone”–it is, as the OKSC rightly pointed, *government imprimatur* being given to a *particular* set of “good words.”

          • FoJC_Forever

            Catholics aren’t Christians and did not write the Scriptures. The “Mosaic Law” was given to Moses through an Angel.

            You’re just like the people who wanted to kill Jesus.

            I’m not your friend.

  • Jean Adams

    The Devil is represented by darkness, so it was apt his work should be carried out in the dark.

  • Cordelia Lynn Bowling Cosentin

    As the Commandments come down so do our laws that govern what is right and wrong. Does this give legitimacy to murder since one of the commandments state “thou shalt not murder”, does it give legitimacy to stealing since one of the commandments state “thou shalt not steal” and so on. This explains why the criminals are still on the street and those who try to uphold the laws of God and man are daily being put into jail for no good reason. May God have mercy on this nation that once believed in His righteous ways.

    • Names_Stan

      Well, considering most public state buildings don’t have, (and never have had), a list of the Ten Commandments out front, I’m not clear on the claim you’re making.

      Are you saying Oklahoma is going to make murder and theft legal? Or that they’re just not gonna try too hard to find offenders?

      Or are you saying every public entity in America is going to make murder and theft legal, just because Oklahoma moved their list to a different building? Or just that every police force in the country is gonna be really bad at their job, on purpose, just because Oklahoma moved the list?

      • Cordelia Lynn Bowling Cosentin

        You’re not very wise are you? By denying the 10 commandments you are also confirming that our judicial system is null and void. Our laws are based on the 10 commandments, plain and simple. It’s sad but these same people who would remove the 10 commandments are the same people who would allow sharia law to exist in this country.

  • Cordelia Lynn Bowling Cosentin

    Interesting enough, it was done at night in the darkness where are evil exists. Where there is no light there is no justice.

  • Croquet_Player

    People may put up all the religious monuments they like on private property. It never fails to amaze me that some people keep trying to put them up in the ONE place they are not permitted. These this always ends up being a source of acrimony in the community and a total waste of taxpayer dollars. Enough with the attempts at religious monuments on public property.

  • Tony

    NO !!! I live in oklahoma it will be moved not destroyed .

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    The Constitution was created for a CHRISTIAN nation. Its intention is that no particular CHRISTIAN denomination will be the religion of the state. We cannot allow, according to our Constitution, for Islam or atheism or worship of the state or a heretical Christian church to dictate to we the CHRISTIAN people of the United States of America!

    • flackmaster00

      where are any of your claims stated? i dont see anything in the constitution that says “christian”, “islam”, or “atheist”.

      youre just making this stuff up

  • hamfish

    I think they should be replaced with one commandment. Thou shalt not be a dick to thy fellow human.

  • Croquet_Player

    It was moved onto private property a few blocks away, where it’s perfectly legal and can remain indefinitely. I really don’t get the fuss. It should never have been put on public property to begin with, and now it’s somewhere legal. Problem solved.