Oklahoma’s embattled Ten Commandments monument must be taken down by Oct. 12.
Oklahoma state officials voted Tuesday to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the grounds of the State Capitol to comply with a court order.
The Capitol Preservation Commission, which manages the placement of artwork on public property, voted 7-1 to remove the one-ton granite statue, built with private dollars.
The decision to remove the monument follows months of intense debate, with critics arguing that it violates the state constitution’s prohibition against using public property to support religion Supporters had argued it serves a historical purpose.
Three plaintiffs represented by the American Civil Liberties Union brought suit challenging its placement on state property. As The Christian Science Monitor reported, early this summer Oklahoma’s Supreme Court ordered its removal citing that the monument indirectly benefits the Jewish and Christian faiths.
The 7-1 state Supreme Court decision cited a clause in the Oklahoma Constitution that states: “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.”
SOURCE: Beatrice Gitau
The Christian Science Monitor