Oklahoma's Capitol won't be allowed to hold on to its Ten Commandments statue, the state's supreme court ruled yesterday. Chief Justice John Reif explained in the opinion: "The Ten Commandments monument in this case does explicitly 'display' and 'articulate' ideas that directly pertain to the Judeo-Christian system of religion." Fair enough.
In 2009, a bill stating that "the placement of this monument shall not be construed to mean that the Sate of Oklahoma favors any particular religion or denomination thereof over others," passed in the Oklahoma House. The legislation was put forth by Rep. Mike Ritze, who also financed the statue himself. It was erected in 2012, and since then courts have gone back and forth over the legality of the statue, finally concluding this summer that it shouldn't be allowed to stand.
Reuters reports that tensions ran high over the decision:
The 6-foot-tall (1.8-meter) monument was paid for with private money and is supported by lawmakers in the socially conservative state. Some lawmakers had threatened to impeach the justices or amend the constitution.
Christian Today reports that, according to a spokesman for Governor Mary Fallin, the state hasn't been given the final order to take down the decalogue and "in the meantime, the state is reviewing what legal options are available for preserving the monument."
The decision came after the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission appealed the court's June 30 ruling that the placement of the decalogue violated the Constitution. That ruling also put the Satanic Church in a pickle—it had hoped to place its giant Baphomet statue alongside the Judeo-Christian monument. Now, the satanic statue has been unveiled in Detroit, but remains ultimately homeless.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.