ACLU Files Ten Commandments Suit in Oklahoma

ACLU Files Ten Commandments Suit in Oklahoma August 22, 2013

The ACLU of Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit over the placement of a Ten Commandments monument in front of the state capitol building. And yes, this is the same monument that contained several misspelled words when it was unveiled late last year. One of the plaintiffs in the case is Bruce Prescott, aka the Mainstream Baptist.

“The monument’s placement at the Capitol has created a more divisive and hostile state for many Oklahomans,” said Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma’s Executive Director. “When the government literally puts one faith on a pedestal, it sends a strong message to Oklahomans of other faiths that they are less than equal.”…

The lawsuit also seeks to remedy the state monument’s impact on Jewish and Christian believers. The government has taken a text that, in various forms, is deeply sacred in both of these faiths and have trivialized its religious meaning by placing it in a political and secular context, with its proponents arguing that the monument is a constitutionally permissible recitation of a purely non-religious history of our legal system and government.

“To argue that the monument merely commemorates something historical rather than religious is a slap in the face to the many Oklahomans, like myself, who incorporate the Ten Commandments into our religious practice,” said Plaintiff Bruce Prescott of Norman, an ordained Baptist minister and theologian.

As is always the case in such situations, it will almost certainly be easy to find lots of statements from the government officials involved in the decision to put the monument up that reveal their purpose to be solely religious. Our best weapon in such cases is the ignorance of our opponents and the fact that they’re trying to score points with the Christian right by declaring, “See, we’re standing up for God and Christianity.” But doing so triggers a purpose prong violation under the Lemon test.

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  • But..all our laws, especially traffic laws, are based on the ten commandments, aren’t they? I read it on the internets.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Traffic laws? I do remember some mention of iron chariots.

  • It’s like you people don’t remember history. America was founded on these Biblical ideals. Then you damn hippies and loose broads ruined it all. Why, back in the day we all tried our darndest to avoid coveting. Then you had it reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. Then the Activist Liberal Court took it off the books entirely. Now the kids these days are running rampant through the streets, coveting this and coveting that…

    And don’t get me started on all the graven images! Why, you can’t walk two blocks without bumping in to an idol of a bird or fish or Bob’s Big Boy. Disgusting!

  • rhebel

    Whose ten commandments is this of? Aren’t there slight differences between, say Catholic and Protestant commandments? (And maybe there are more, not a religious scholar

  • CaitieCat

    Well, the problem is, it was supposed to be 15 Commandments, but Moses didn’t understand what ‘traffic light’ and ‘construction lane-narrowing queue’ meant, so when he dropped it and it broke, he just sorta shrugged and carried on with the Leftover Ten.

    Here, for your edification, is my tiny breakaway (but totally Truthful) sect says are the remaining Five:

    11. The intersection is a holy place, and close to God; to keep it holy, thou shalt not enter it when another is already communing with God in it.

    12. Thou shalt not suffer a long construction lane-narrowing queue, but shall use thy fish-magnet as an apology when barging in well ahead of the place that thou by rights owest;

    13. Thou shalt render respect unto those who use their legs for motion, but neither shalt thou suffer an atheist any pavement, yea, though it be a pedestrian zone shalt thou crowd them.

    14. Thou shalt not speak to anyone but God while conducting thy movements; yea, nor your cousin nor your best friend, nor even to text back to that guy thou mettest last night in that den of iniquity;

    15. Thou shalt not profane the air with words hateful to God’s ear; rather shalt thou use thy fingers for such messages.

    You can see why he’d be confused. Imagine saying you can’t swear when you’re riding in your not-iron chariot!

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … the same monument that contained several misspelled words when it was unveiled late last year.

    Does it still contain them, or did the state compound its blasphemy by hiring someone to dare to correct the Words of the Lord?