ACLU Sues Oklahoma County in Effort to Remove Ten Commandments at County Courthouse

ten-commandmentsJOHNSTON COUNTY, Okla. — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed suit against officials of a county in Oklahoma in an effort to force the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the lawn of the county courthouse.

The suit comes just weeks after a similar monument was removed from the grounds of the Oklahoma Capitol after the state Supreme Court declared that it violated the Oklahoma Constitution.

“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 cited section reads.

The ACLU had filed suit in that case as well. The monument was relocated to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs after being removed by the cover of night.

Now, the ACLU of Oklahoma has filed suit against the Johnston County Board of Commissioners over a Ten Commandments monument that was placed outside of the Johnston County courthouse just hours later. There are six plaintiffs in the case who serve as complainants.

“No government official has the constitutional authority to use the machinery of government to exploit religion for their own petty political purposes.” Executive Director Ryan Kiesel told local television station KFOR. “When the government literally puts one faith on a pedestal, it sends a strong message to Oklahomans of other faiths and those of no faith at all that they are less than equal.”

Johnston County Commissioner Mike Thompson says that the board will defend the monument “all the way.”

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“I do understand legislators are trying to run some different bills this next coming session, I think with Gov. Fallin, so that we can have the Ten Commandments on the state capitol yard,” he told reporters. “And hopefully there’ll be some legislation run that will help us be able to keep them where they’re at.”

Thompson was referring to House Joint Resolution 1036, which would serve as a an amendment to remove Article II, Section 5 from the Oklahoma Constitution—the text that was used as the basis for the removal of the capitol monument.

“[O]ur legislature has signaled its support for pursuing changes to our state Constitution that will make it clear the Ten Commandments monument is legally permissible,” Fallin has also stated. “If legislative efforts are successful, the people of Oklahoma will get to vote on the issue.”

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  • Chuck Anziulewicz

    In other words, this wasn’t some hundred-year-old monument, but rather an in-your-face expression of Christian Supremacism by the Johnson County Board of Commissioners. It’s always amusing when Christians say they’re being “persecuted.”

    • bowie1

      However it is not for the benefit of the church, its ministers, etc. but quite the opposite. It is for the benefit of those in the community.

      • BarkingDawg

        Doesn’t matter. It’s still unconstitutional

        Unless of course the county allows a statue of Baphomet next to it.

        What are the odds of that?

      • Chuck Anziulewicz

        Granted, MOST of the Ten Commandments are good common-sense advice. But tell me: Are observant Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists obeying the FIRST Commandment?

    • Joe Blow

      You totally clueless. It’s all about the supremacy of God, not about Christian Supremacy. And remember what book in bible this was written. It predates Christianity.

      • The Skeptical Chymist

        Which God should be supreme in our legal system? On what grounds?

        • Joe Blow

          God who is the Creator:

          “We hold these truths to be
          self-evident, that all men are

          created equal, that they are
          endowed by their Creator with

          certain unalienable rights,
          that among these are life, liberty

          and the pursuit of happiness.”

          The belief in God is at the very fabric of our country.

          • gizmo23

            It says “their creator” not “the creator”. Your creator might be different than mine

          • Joe Blow

            The framers of our country were referring to a Creator for ALL men, not just themselves. Your point of view of another creator is absurd.

          • gizmo23


          • Joe Blow

            Clearly our founding fathers – John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. and a single creator in mind. Clear?

          • gizmo23

            Not clear at all

          • Joe Blow

            Sorry, repeat 8th grade English, then reread.

          • gizmo23

            Thanks for the good Christian insult

          • Joe Blow

            Not an insult. Just a bit of good advice. Over.

          • gizmo23

            Insult. You gave no explanation

      • acontraryview

        “It’s all about the supremacy of God, not about Christian Supremacy. ”

        The God according to the Christian belief system. Therefore, it is about Christian privilege.

    • Rick Neal

      Hate much?

  • Michael C

    For those who are often warning of a forthcoming Muslim invasion, I don’t know how wise it would be to remove Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma State Constitution.

  • BarkingDawg

    Mike Thompson said “And hopefully there’ll be some legislation run that will help us be able to keep them where they’re at.”

    Sorry, Mike. The establishment clause of the first amendment will prevent that from happening.

  • Willem Toerien

    I don’t see what the fuss is all about. Christian’s are set free from God’s law.

    So let them break those laws of bondage, especially that fourth one. Yucky. And let’s be free in love, love love. Unity!

    1. Christ is the end of the law.
    2. We’re no longer under the law, but under gace.
    3. We’re in a new covenant and the old covenant (laws) has been abolished.
    4. Christ sat us free from the bondage of the law.
    5. We’re not saved by keeping the law, but by faith.
    6. No one can keep the law, only Christ could.
    7. The law was only until John.
    8. Keeping the law now is legalistic and self-righteous
    9. Jesus fulfilled the law.
    10. The law was nailed to the cross.
    11. The law is not of faith.
    12. We do not keep to the letter anymore, but to the spirit.
    13. The law was only for the Jews.
    14. The law was just a shadow of Christ.
    15. Only God can judge us.
    16. We are to only love God and love our neighbors.
    17. Christ said, “It is finished.” at the cross.
    18. We now only have to believe in Jesus.
    19. We’re not dead to the law.
    20. We have been redeemed from the law.
    21. Keeping the law makes grace of none effect.

  • acontraryview

    The Oklahoma Constitution is clear. This display must go.

  • Johnny

    Time to donate more to Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty Institute, they’ve been doing a good job holding off the radical Anti-Christian-Liberties-Union.

    • BarkingDawg

      No they haven’t.

  • Rick Neal

    To all of you saying that Christians and God are a negative blight on the world, think about this. “What if it’s all real? What if everything you say against God for your own self righteous life is held against you, what then! Atheists say there is no God, again what if there is? I don’t know myself, I like to believe there is a power higher and more intelligent than we humans considering the way we have f*&^#ed up everything we touch! But you guys who don’t believe are entitled to your opinion and views but just remember we are only human and compared to the universe around us, we don’t matter! So again “What if God is real?