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Update: The Ten Commandments Memorial

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Things have been happening with the potential Ten Commandments memorial that OK Representative Mike Ritze wants to put on the grounds of the state capitol (see original post here).  On Monday, April 20, the Oklahoma Senate voted on Mr. Ritze’s proposal (Bill #1330), and the measure passed by a large margin.  Of course, there was some very heated debate first. 

 

Senator Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, claims the bill simply pays tribute to a historical document that is a part of our country’s foundation.  He went as far as to compare it to the Liberty Bell.

 

Senator Judy Eason McIntyre, though, argued that the bill was a political stunt designed to bring Brogdon some attention and recognition for his gubernatorial run.  Democratic leader Charlie Laster asked McIntyre to apologize for some of her comments, which she did.  This just goes to show how heated the debate was.

Another senator, Constance Johnson, said she found the bill offensive.  Sen. Johnson brought up her proposed monument to honoring the contributions of African-Americans to Oklahoma’s history.  Her proposal was not given a committee hearing.

 

Brogdon and others refuted these claims, saying that McIntyre and Johnson were both bringing race into a debate in which it had no place. 

 

Several others, including Sen. Jim Wilson and Sen. Tom Adelson, questioned the bill’s constitutionality, brining up the First Amendment and the separation of church and state.  Adelson pointed out that no matter how you talk about the monument, it is very “clearly a religious symbol.” 

 

No matter what your thoughts on the monument, it has now passed the senate and is one step closer to becoming a reality.  It first, however, must go back to the House and to a joint conference committee. 

 

I’ve tried to simply report on the bill and not put my own thoughts out there, but I do have to wonder if an article published in the Enid News might not be correct: during this time of financial crisis and other issues, aren’t there more important things for our state legislature to be discussing?  It seems like a lot of time is being spent on this memorial.

 

Other thoughts on the issue:

 

The Mountainbiker’s Blog offers some alternative Biblical passages that could be used instead of the Ten Commandments.

 

The Science Avenger asks an interesting question about which version of the Ten Commandments the monument would display.

 

The Oklahoma Women’s Network Blog discusses OETA’s April 26th episode of their Oklahoma Forum.  The discussion focused on the role of the Ten Commandments and the issues surrounding the monument.  They link to the official website, which includes a Podcast version of the discussion.

Tags: Events · Only in OKC       

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Theresa Renfro // May 2, 2009 at 10:42 am

    My husband had his roots in OK. I am so proud of the state doing what is right and good, despite the arguments against it. I just wish my state would do the same, but not likely, as too many liberals here.
    THR

  • 2 Geo McDaniel // May 8, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Good for Oklahoma. My only tie to Oklahoma are the times I have traveled through on my way from TN to CA. I am proud of what you are doing. We need to get back to the values that made us a great country. We are heading the wrong way.

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