The Legislature is at it again. Today, HB 2177, which has already sailed through the House of Representatives, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill is nothing more than an attempt to yet again resurrect the 10 Commandments Monument on the Capitol grounds.
Again, members of the Legislature have opted for a cheap political stunt over actually representing the interests of their constituents. It has been made abundantly clear by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the people of Oklahoma, and over two centuries of our nation’s commitment to religious liberty that a 10 Commandments monument has no place on the Capitol grounds. Rather than hear the message that their efforts are unwanted and unconstitutional, members of the Legislature have insisted on continuing their attempts to place one interpretation of one faith on a literal pedestal.
Those who are continuing this push to subvert the United States Constitution, the Oklahoma Constitution, and the clear will of the voters would have us believe they are a member of some marginalized constituency worthy and in desperate need of extra protections. This ignores the fact that nearly every single elected official in Oklahoma is an avowed Christian. It is downright absurd to claim that protecting one of the bedrock foundations of our democracy–that church and state ought never become one–somehow tramples the rights of Christians. Continuing to peddle the myth that true religious liberty is a threat to this State’s majority faith offends the most basic notions of what it means to live in an American Democracy. Legislators would be wise to adhere to policies that ensure that people of all faiths and those of no religious faith at all stand as equals before their government.