Oklahoma Officials Vote to Remove Ten Commandments Monument from Capitol

Oklahoma Capitol Building pdOKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Officials in Oklahoma voted on Tuesday to remove a Ten Commandments monument on the state capitol grounds amid a court battle over the Decalogue display.

The Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission voted 7-1 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.

As previously reported, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 7-2 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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Last September, Judge Prince concluded that the monument served a historical purpose and not solely the presentment of a religious message as it sits on a plot of land that contains 51 other expressive monuments. But the case was appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which overturned the lower court ruling. Gov. Mary Fallin refused to remove the display while an appeal was filed.

Last month, Prince upheld the Supreme Court’s order that the monument must go and required that it be removed by October 12.

Now that the Preservation Commission has voted to authorize the removal of the display, some are now discussing where its new home might be. Estela Hernandez, the interim chair of the Oklahoma Republican Party told local television station KFOR that she would like the monument to be placed outside of her office.

“It’s a reminder that we truly are a people with moral laws, with moral values,” she said. “And when we start to dismiss the notion that God should not be in our schoolhouse and in our government, that’s when we start to lose or start to see a decline of our culture.”

“Those [are] principles that define us as Americans, that define us as to what our framers intended our nation to be,” Hernandez continued. “They sought out those Christian values; they sought out God’s wisdom. And I truly believe Oklahomans share in those values.”

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  • Apparently these ministers believe the right wing nonsense about Ms. Sanger. When I was a child we debated ideas. These days we debate which set of facts is historically or scientifically accurate.

    • Dave_L

      Is it nonsense because it is nonsense? Or is it nonsense because it is “right wing”?

      • Good point. It is nonsense because it is factually inaccurate, Creating a narrative to fit a religious predisposition.

        • bowie1

          Quotes from Margaret Sanger:http://www.dianedew. com/sanger. htm On blacks, immigrants and indigents:
          “…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.” Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, referring to immigrants and poor people
          On sterilization & racial purification:
          Sanger believed that, for the purpose of racial “purification,” couples should be rewarded who chose sterilization. Birth Control in America, The Career of Margaret Sanger, by David Kennedy, p. 117, quoting a 1923 Sanger speech.

          On the right of married couples to bear children:
          Couples should be required to submit applications to have a child, she wrote in her “Plan for Peace.” Birth Control Review, April 1932

          On the purpose of birth control:
          The purpose in promoting birth control was “to create a race of thoroughbreds,” she wrote in the Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921 (p. 2)

          On the rights of the handicapped and mentally ill, and racial minorities:
          “More children from the fit, less from the unfit — that is the chief aim of birth control.” Birth Control Review, May 1919, p. 12

          On religious convictions regarding sex outside of marriage:
          “This book aims to answer the needs expressed in thousands on thousands of letters to me in the solution of marriage problems… Knowledge of sex truths frankly and plainly presented cannot possibly injure healthy, normal, young minds. Concealment, suppression, futile attempts to veil the unveilable – these work injury, as they seldom succeed and only render those who indulge in them ridiculous. For myself, I have full confidence in the cleanliness, the open-mindedness, the promise of the younger generation.” Margaret Sanger, Happiness in Marriage (Bretano’s, New York, 1927)

          On the extermination of blacks:
          “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” she said, “if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon

          On respecting the rights of the mentally ill:
          In her “Plan for Peace,” Sanger outlined her strategy for eradication of those she deemed “feebleminded.” Among the steps included in her evil scheme were immigration restrictions; compulsory sterilization; segregation to a lifetime of farm work; etc. Birth Control Review, April 1932, p. 107

          On adultery:
          A woman’s physical satisfaction was more important than any marriage vow, Sanger believed. Birth Control in America, p. 11

          On marital sex:
          “The marriage bed is the most degenerating influence in the social order,” Sanger said. (p. 23) [Quite the opposite of God’s view on the matter: “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)

          On abortion:
          “Criminal’ abortions arise from a perverted sex relationship under the stress of economic necessity, and their greatest frequency is among married women.” The Woman Rebel – No Gods, No Masters, May 1914, Vol. 1, No. 3.

          On the YMCA and YWCA:
          “…brothels of the Spirit and morgues of Freedom!”), The Woman Rebel – No Gods, No Masters, May 1914, Vol. 1, No. 3.

          On the Catholic Church’s view of contraception:
          “…enforce SUBJUGATION by TURNING WOMAN INTO A MERE INCUBATOR.” The Woman Rebel – No Gods, No Masters, May 1914, Vol. 1, No. 3.

          On motherhood:
          “I cannot refrain from saying that women must come to recognize there is some function of womanhood other than being a child-bearing machine.” What Every Girl Should Know, by Margaret Sanger (Max Maisel, Publisher, 1915) [Jesus said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep… for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, Blessed (happy) are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the breasts which never gave suck.” (Luke 23:24)]

          • Angel Jabbins

            Boy, I guess you blasted that accusation about it all being’ right- wing nonsense’ right up to the moon. Thanks for your diligent research.

        • Bruce Morrow

          Sounds like David Hart is living on another world.

    • Yes, indeed. Ms Sanger was all about the struggle for justice: the struggle to kill little black babies, with the approval of the justice system. That’s scientifically accurate justice. (And of course, before they are born, they are not people, especially because they are black, or at least, would be black if they were not killed.) Black ministers should repent of their wilful ignorance and worship at the feet of the great mother of intervention and sacrifice their unborn children to her sweet memory. That’s science.

  • WorldGoneCrazy

    “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” – Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, 1939

    “I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan.” — Margaret Sanger

    “But for my view, I believe that there should be no more babies.” — Margaret Sanger

  • Nidalap

    These pastors are bucking the system, not toeing the line! They’ve received the response given to Serfs who question their Noble “betters”. Perhaps a better analogy: Plantation owners being spoken to out of turn by their “property”…