The monument had been a source of controversy for years, with the ACLU filing a lawsuit saying it constituted government endorsement of religion. Over the past year, the Satanic Temple added to the discussion by pitching their own monument for inclusion on the Capitol lawn, leading to a moratorium on all monuments altogether.
In September, a judge dismissed the ACLU’s lawsuit, saying the Ten Commandments monument could stay put. The ACLU said it would appeal the ruling, and the decision also opened the door to lawsuits from groups like The Satanic Temple who had been told to hold on while the case was still pending.
But all that became moot after a Christian — who, as far as we can tell, had no stake in the controversy — drove into and destroyed the monument.
We learned in November that State Rep. Mike Ritze, who was responsible for putting up the original monument, would have a replacement built (with private money).
Today, that new monument is being installed:
Workers were reinstalling a monument of the Ten Commandments on Thursday on the Capitol grounds.
“While the destruction of the original monument was tragic, this replacement is identical in every respect and we look forward to it standing the test of time,” Ritze said in a text message.
And if it’s going up, that means the ACLU can continue with its appeal, the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission needs to decide whether other monuments will be allowed on the property, and The Satanic Temple might as well finish up that statue of Baphomet.
(Large portions of this article were published earlier)