Oklahoma Passes a Ten Commandments Bill May 9, 2009

Oklahoma Passes a Ten Commandments Bill

As if there wasn’t enough religion in Oklahoma, the state House passed a bill to put a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the State Capitol.

They should’ve just installed a giant middle finger with a plaque reading, “To the non-Christians.”

At least that would be legal.

Without debate, House members voted 83-2 for the bill on the National Day of Prayer in which televangelist and Oklahoma native Oral Roberts addressed the state Senate. A public prayer service was conducted a short distance from the state Supreme Court chamber, and religious-themed displays and kiosks were set up in the Capitol rotunda.

“It wasn’t planned,” said Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, author of the Ten Commandments bill. “I think it’s divine, really.”

Ritze said he would cover the $10,000 cost of the monument as if that somehow makes it ok. He adds there is no religious purpose behind it. I doubt that.

What I do know is this will be challenged. I hope the Freedom From Religion Foundation gets on this case immediately.

How screwed up do your state officials have to be when something like this passes by such an overwhelming margin?

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  • Erp

    So which version?

    Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, or one of the three in the Bible?

  • I passed this on,as I do to MANY of your posts.

    Here is what I wrote atop the story I posted to my Facebook:

    For those who think I am “too concerned with” a “few” religious folks in Congress, I remind you, there are not just a “few” and they ARE trying to take over America.

    If we allow this to happen, there will be a theocracy, that means no separation of church and state, much like Iran, where they hang people constantly, or like the times when there were with burnings..oh wait….there still are witch burnings going on in the world…go look at my recent video of actual people being burnt for accusations that they are “witches”

  • I always ask a simple question about 10 commandment displays: “‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ Do you think public policy should be influenced by this principle?”

    Option 1: Oppose the first amendment.
    Option 2: Support the posting and ignoring of one of the commandments.
    Option 3: Stop supporting the posting.

    Seriously, this Never occurred to me when I was a Christian.

  • Isn’t he technically “bearing false witness” when he claims there’s no religious purpose behind it?

  • Ian

    Having no other gods but Yahweh tweaks the establishment clause a bit, surely?

    Still, who am I to complain, we have a thoroughly established state religion on this side of the pond, with bishops having a constitutional right to sit, unelected, in our parliament.

    And the really weird thing is, I don’t hear anywhere near the complaints I hear when one of your guys passes one little bill like this.

  • gad, don’t scare me. I thought it said OBAMA… not OKLAHOMA!

  • Richard Wade

    “It wasn’t planned,” said Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, author of the Ten Commandments bill. “I think it’s divine, really.”

    It wasn’t planned?? What, it was an accident? He and everyone else just spontaneously passed this bill that popped out of the air and landed in their laps? I don’t understand how people think that just saying these inane things makes them true. He says there’s no religious purpose behind it. Just saying that makes it true?

    The Supreme Court decision allowing these displays based on the alleged lack of religious motive is one of the most asinine of their several questionable decisions. The “it’s historic, not religious” rationale is lame and transparent.

    How about a state government putting up a statue of a dying man nailed to two wooden planks, and saying that it’s about our long history and tradition of punishment for crimes? Nothing to do with religion, right?

    “The Ten Commandments monument is not about relgion.”

    “Hustler Magazine is not about pictures of naked women.”

    “Football is not about sports.”

    “Advertisements are not about capitalism.”

    “Beer is not about alcohol.”

    “The Oklahoma House of Representatives is not about a bunch of lying, rationalizing, cowardly, preacher’s-ass-kissing little theocrats.”

  • How can it possibly NOT have a religious purpose? Is he saying that the Ten Commandments are secular? Ugh.

  • openedUp

    Dang it.

    I have lived in Oklahoma my entire life and have been plagued by legislation like this for years and years. And Oral Roberts? That man is a joke (I actually go to school with one of his nieces here at the University of Oklahoma).

    I apologize for my state (if that’s possible)

  • I think every non-Christian religious group and every non-religious group should also demand their own monument.

  • Once more they show they can’t be trusted, and will tell whatever lies suit them for whatever they want to do.

  • Zar

    Isn’t he technically “bearing false witness” when he claims there’s no religious purpose behind it?

    For religious fundamentalists and other cultists, lying to outsiders is okay. Lying in general is okay. Anything done in the name of the group is okay.

  • debg

    I have to say that this is very dangerous ground these folks are treading… I live in Wyoming and you can very easily see what happened when the City of Casper allowed a donated monument of the Ten Commendments to stand at City Hall – remember the Rev. Fred Phelps??? Yep, it didn’t escape his notice, either…


    The monument has since been removed to a designated “plaza” created to display so called “monuments”. I’m hoping there will soon be a monument from an atheist organization…

  • So, it’s not about religion, but…….isn’t this the same state government that complained about Richard Dawkins giving a lecture on evolution to a university’s biology department?

  • Not about religion…. Wow.

  • mikespeir

    I’ll be challenged and it’ll lose; but, as usual, we’ll be cast as the bad guys, spoiling the party.

  • This will go to the Supreme Court !
    As is darn well should !

  • Vincent

    Funny you should say this:
    “Beer is not about alcohol.”

    In Oklahoma, by statute, beer isn’t alcohol.
    (well, it’s not an “alcoholic beverage” if it is below 3.2% alcohol by volume)

    And Ian,
    It’s not “no other gods but Yahweh”, it’s no other gods BEFORE Yahweh. You can have other gods, but Yahweh has to be in front.

  • Ex Partiot

    I am ashamed to admit that I actually lived in that throwback to the dark ages state for 18 years because of a job.I retired and now live in the real world of Europe and am I happy, you bet I am

  • TXatheist

    Texas used that same argument, per Governor Perry and Attorney General Abbott “the 10 C have a secular purpose in providing guidance to youth and deterring juvenile misbehavior”. They really said it had a secular purpose and it sits there today at the Austin Capitol building.

  • llewelly

    XI: Richard Dawkins Shall Not Visit Oklahoma.

    (Added to the bottom of Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments headstone.)

  • TXatheist

    llewelly, you do realize that was proposed a few months ago…something to the effect that OK doesn’t want his type and no OK university should have him there

  • Antieverything

    Pelosi and O’Bama rob the treasury and no one cares….but put the Ten Commandment on display and everyone whines

  • Thomas

    The Okie version might be like this:

    1] Thou shalt have no other favorite college team but OU or OSU, unless you went to TU.

    2] Thou shalt have a Wal-Mart Supercenter in every town above 3000 people.

    3] Thou shalt not wash thy truck until at least 3/4 inches of mud has dried to it.

    4] Thou shall have as many toll roads as possible, even if it inhibits travel and tourism.

    5] Thou shall be baptist or nondenominational regardless of what you really believe, when asked.

    6] The building of sidewalks and useful public transportation shall be prohibited.

    7] Thou shalt never taste a domestic beer of regular strength.

    8] Thou shall fear giving equal citizens equal right because it is “icky” to your God.

    9] Thou shall not educate thy children in reason and responsibility for that is not the path to God. No child must leave behind my words in exchange science and health issues.

    10] Thou shall see every natural occurring disaster as my judgment on sin and not a normal part of nature and weather patterns.

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