Oklahoma Voters to Decide Whether to Amend State Constitution to Allow Ten Commandments Monument

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Lawmakers in Oklahoma have passed a resolution that will place on the November ballot the question of whether or not a section of the state constitution should be abolished that was used as the basis for the removal of a Ten Commandments monument at the state capitol.

“Since the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision in June regarding the Ten Commandments monument, my constituents wanted to know what could be done,” said John Paul Jordan, R-Yukon, an attorney. “I knew it would be a difficult proposition to undo the ruling, so we looked at giving voters the opportunity to remove the basis for the ruling.”

As previously reported, the monument was removed in October after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in June that the display 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.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma House voted 65-7 in favor of a resolution to place the matter on the November ballot.

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“The new interpretation of this provision can potentially make our state hostile to religion and have damaging impacts on our counties, cities and school districts,” Jordan said. “This impact has already been felt in Johnston County, where the ACLU filed a lawsuit based solely on this section of the state constitution and forced the removal of their Ten Commandments monument.”

“This is a battle that belongs to the great people of Oklahoma. It’s up to them to determine what they want,” he stated.

“Oklahomans overwhelmingly supported the placement of the Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state capitol, and they will now be given the opportunity to address the issue in our constitution which the Supreme Court cited in ordering the removal of the Ten Commandments monument,” also remarked House Speaker Jeffrey Hickman.

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  • Found One

    Fortunately, we do not vote on the Constitution, but we should not expect Oklahoma senators to know that.

    • Mike Crognale

      The bill is to amend the state constitution by removing that section. Perhaps you missed that?

      • Found One

        The US version rules.

  • Bezukhov

    What’s the point of putting up the 10 Commandments anyways? The 1st Amendment allows me to break the 2nd Commandment.

  • Psygn


  • Neil Bragg

    Other than hating Christianity, atheists have nothing. Ever heard of any atheists charities? Of course. They don’t love God, and they sure don’t love their neighbors. Give them political power and they perpetrate the worst genocides in human history.

    • Tangent002

      There are dozens of secular charities. Sorry if that does not fit with your narrative.

  • Alley Oop

    No wonder seculars would hate the Ten Commandments:
    “no other gods” – seculars worship only themselvs.
    “honor your father and mother” – most liberals are estranged from their families
    “no murder” – nope, they just love abortion
    “no adultery” – nope, they prefer sleeping around with the maximum number of people, of all ages, no commitment, no strings
    “no theft” – nope, they love high taxation
    “no coveting” – that’s the whole basis of liberalism, envy and redistribution

    • RustySkywater

      All ad hominem. Shame on you.

      • Tangent002

        All straw-men.

      • 0pus37

        “Shame on you.”

        Third grade girls talk that way.

      • Ruthann

        An ad hominem is a personal attack on an individual.
        You’re stupid and ignorant.

  • Tangent002

    It will be difficult to construct language that allows for the Ten Commandments monument and does not allow a Baphomet statue.

  • Better And Better

    Good! Soon, we’ll add a Crescent and Star along with verses from the Koran… one mythology is as good as the next.

    • Tangent002

      Oh, I’m sure they’ll add something like “…culturally or historically significant…” that will keep out the ‘Mooslims’.

      • Better And Better

        I hope not… I want to see all those that Christians despise get put in there.

        • Tangent002

          I sure TST will be first in line!

    • BarkingDawg

      There’s that statue of Baphomet. . .

  • BarkingDawg

    They can’t amend the US Constitution.

    This has “waste of time and money” written all over it.

    • Mike Crognale

      The article refers to the Constitution of the state of Oklahoma. Perhsps you missed that part.

      • BarkingDawg

        Perhaps you missed the part that what they want to do is in violation of the US Constitution as well as the Oklahoma state constitution.

        Changing the state constitution isn’t going to let them magically get around the US Constitution.

        • Mike Crognale

          Nope. The article that was used to justify removing the monument is in the state constitution. The vote is to remove that section. Nothing to do with the US Constitution. Nice try though. Next you will quote the Danbury Baptist letter as justifying it at the national level and I will refute that as well.

          • BarkingDawg

            If the state of Oklahoma changes their constitution to allow a Ten Commandments monument to be placed on the capital grounds, they will create an “Open Forum.” That means that statues of Baphomet, Hindu gods, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc. will be allowed to be placed there as well.

            I’m all for that.

            On the other hand, if the state places the Ten Commandments monument while denying any others, then they will get sued and they will lose in federal court.

            Be careful what you wish for.

          • Mike Crognale

            Irrelevant reply. The Satanists and collander wearing devotees are allowed to place monuments and practice their religions. Only Christians have been forced to remove monuments, bibles from hotel rooms, and not openly pray at ball games, for example. You seem to support that whole heartedly.

          • BarkingDawg

            What other groups currently have permanent displays/monuments on the capital grounds like the Ten Commandment monument that was removed?

          • Mike Crognale

            Read the last two sentences of my post, again. I did not say that OK had them on their capital grounds. There is, however, a Satanic display on state property that was perfectly fine. We Christians objected and were told to pound sand.