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New Legislation for a Ten Commandments Monument?

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If you’re not familiar with the first amendment of the United States Constitution, it has a bit about separation of church and state.  Well, Oklahoma Representative Mike Ritze apparently hasn’t read that bit…he has recently introduced legislation in the Oklahoma house to “create and build a monument that both displays and honours the Ten Commandments of the Biblical Old Testament…on the grounds of the State Capitol.” 

 

Now, I have no problem with Mr. Ritze or his religious beliefs (he is an ordained Deacon in the Southern Baptist church and teaches Sunday School).  However, I do have some issue with putting a religious monument on the grounds of the capitol building.  Mr. Ritze has apparently foreseen some debate on this matter and has included some wording in Bill 1330 that states the monument does not mean that Oklahoma is favoring one religion over another. 

 

Wait…so placing a monument to the Christian Old Testament on the grounds of our capitol isn’t indirectly endorsing that religion?  If we build this monument, shouldn’t we add a statue of Buddha and a temple to Quan Yin as well? 

 

At least Mr. Ritze isn’t asking the taxpayers of Oklahoma to build the monument.  The bill explicitly states that the monument will be completely funded by private citizens.  Because of that, I wouldn’t be surprised if the bill passes and the monument is built.  If passed, it won’t go into effect until November, though, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

 

 

Other thoughts on the matter:

 

Bart B. Van Bockstaele’s blog on the topic, which includes the full text of Bill 1330.

 

The McCarville Report is following this news story as well.

 

The folks at the Legal Satyricon break down exactly how Bill 1330 is unconstitutional.

 

The Okie Campaigns blog also has some thoughts on the bill, including how it passed the Oklahoma House and is now headed to the Senate.

Tags: Only in OKC       

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bob Monty // Apr 29, 2009 at 11:04 am

    “Wait…so placing a monument to the Christian Old Testament on the grounds of our capitol isn’t indirectly endorsing that religion? If we build this monument, shouldn’t we add a statue of Buddha and a temple to Quan Yin as well?”

    You need to ask yourself and then show people what Buddha and Quan Yin had actually done to add to the BASIS of our modern-day American laws. And why your notation that the statue would be a monument to the Christian Old Testament? Where does the rep say that?

    Granted that the rep is a deacon in his church and may have some non-secular rationale for wanting the statue, but just because he is a practicing “religious person” shouldn’t deny him the opportunity to show that our laws have some historic background, be it religious or otherwise. They didn’t appear out of thin air — or did they?

    Let’s assume for a minute that an entity that some refer to as “God” had nothing to do with inscribing the commandments into stone tablets at the top of some mountain; that it was all the handy work of a long-haired radical named Moses who actually came up with the idea of ten basic tenets for the civilization of his day: his tribe of long hairs.

    Okay, so he chiseled words into some slabs of stone he found at the top of his mountain hideaway and then came down proclaiming that someone named God had actually done the work to give some greater authority to his (Moses’) ideas. Who is the copyright owner? Moses, using the pseudonym “God.”

    That then begs the question as to whether the Commandments are “God’s” laws or those of Moses. Who cares? They’re a pretty good basis for getting along in the world and a good determinant as to what’s acceptable and non-acceptable for a civil society.

    Bob Monty,
    Weymouth, MA

  • 2 Denver Saxton // May 7, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I completely agree with Mr. Monty’s reply in this thread; the author of this blog clearly belongs to the liberal mindset that denies any connection between the evolution of American civilization and its roots it Christianity. Whether the neo-communist liberals in this country want to admit it or not, the reality is this country was founded upon Christian ethics and morality. Not budhist’s, muslim’s, hindi, or any other cultures religious idealogy. Christian idealogy, period. Denying it as a fact doesn’t make it untrue.

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