The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Ten Commandments monument on state capitol grounds violates the Oklahoma constitution and must be removed.
The court ruled 7-2 that the statue violated Article 2, Section 5, of the state Constitution, which states that, “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.”
The justices states, “the Ten Commandments are obviously religious in nature and are an integral part of the Jewish and Christian faiths.”
When the legislature authorized the building of the monument, they believed they would be in the clear as the U.S Supreme Court had previously ruled that a six-foot Ten Commandment display at the Texas Capitol did not violate the establishment clause.
According to the majority opinion, “However, the issue in the case at hand is whether the Oklahoma Ten Commandments monument violates the Oklahoma Constitution, not whether it violates the Establishment Clause.”
The statue was originally built using private funds, raised by state representative Mike Ritze. It was rebuilt in January 2015, after it was destroyed the previous year by a man claiming Satan told him to do it.