The long-running saga of the Ten Commandments monument that stood on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capital may finally be coming to an end. After years of lawsuits that the state lost, threats by Satanists and Flying Spaghetti Monster devotees to put up their own monuments if it did not come down, digging in the heels by the governor, and threats of impeaching the state supreme court for ruling that the presence of the monument violated the state constitution, it looks like the end is near>.
The Capitol Preservation Commission on Tuesday authorized a state agency to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the Capitol grounds to comply with a court order.
The action came despite allegations from former Rep. Mike Reynolds that the meeting was illegal. Reynolds also said the court order directing its removal is not legal.
John Estus, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said his agency will meet with the builder who installed it to come up with a removal plan.
Oklahoma County District Judge Thomas Prince on Sept. 11 gave the state 30 days to remove the monument. He had previously ruled the monument could stay but was reversed on appeal.
The removal will be done by the Oct. 12 deadline, Estus said.
Of course, a new home has to be found for the massive granite monument. It seems unlikely that it will be unceremoniously dumped in a landfill and someone will likely come forward with the offer to host it on their private property.
What bugs me is when people claim that it is not a religious monument at all but a historical document on which the American legal system is based. Only two of the commandments (not to kill or steal) have anything to do with any laws. Three of them are about groveling before god, four of them are basically suggestions for good behavior (don’t tell lies, commit adultery, or covet your neighbor’s stuff, and honor your parents,), while the remaining one (keeping the Sabbath holy) may have formed the basis for so-called blue laws in the past that no longer are invoked.
Incidentally, since today in International Blasphemy Day, it may be a good idea to violate the three commandments involving groveling before god, such as having no other gods, making no graven images, and not taking god’s name in vain. The third is so routinely violated these days that it hardly counts as blasphemy.
But just for fun, here’s a clip from Family Guy as my modest contribution to the cause of blaspheming.