As the Supreme Court is final interpreter of federal constitutional law, it is noteworthy that the architecture of the Supreme Court building reflects the legal foundation of our country as being biblical.
- Over the east portico of the U.S. Supreme Court Building, there is an image of Moses holding the Ten Commandments.
- The Ten Commandments are also engraved on the bronze doors of the Supreme Court and over the chair of the Chief Justice.
Oklahoma and the Ten Commandments
A six-foot Ten Commandments monument was proposed in 2009 by Republican Representative Mike Ritze.
The bill authorizing the monument acknowledged historical significance of the Ten Commandments as being one of many sources which has influenced our modern laws.
Privately funded, the monument was approved by the state legislature and was erected last year on the capitol grounds.
ACLU finds the monument offensive and unconstitutional
Ryan Kiesel, the executive director of ACLU of Oklahoma, claimed,
“The monument’s placement at the Capitol has created a more divisive and hostile state for many Oklahomans. 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.”
Less than equal? All of us are subject to the same laws that have descended in part from the Ten Commandments.
The ACLU has filed a lawsuit to have the monument removed, arguing that the "constitution forbids using state property to endorse particular religions or denominations."
Brady Henderson, ACLU of Oklahoma legal director, chimed in concerning the idea of a welcoming mat:
"We must ensure that Oklahoma welcomes people of all faiths and those of no faith at all. Our suit asks the court to enforce a simple and fundamental rule that the government does not get to use its vast power and influence to tell you what you should believe."
Perhaps the ACLU will be satisfied if another monument representing another religion is also erected; namely in this case, the religion of Satanic Temple.
The Satanic Temple has expressed an interest in having its own inspirational monument put on the capitol grounds in honor of their insights. Their mission statement reads,
"As an organized religion, we feel it is our function to actively provide outreach, to lead by example, and to participate public affairs wheresoever the issues might benefit from rational, Satanic insights."
Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves wrote a letter to the state's Capitol Preservation Commission, which expressed in part, the non-discriminatory homage due to Satan.
"We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards. Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines.
"Allowing us to donate a monument would show that the Oklahoma City Council does not discriminate, and both the religious and non-religious should be happy with such an outcome."
Brady Henderson seems to agree. He said if one type of religious expression is allowed, then so must others be, though he prefers none because he thinks the point of religionists erecting monuments is to show off how righteous they are.
"We would prefer to see Oklahoma's government officials work to faithfully serve our communities and improve the lives of Oklahomans instead of erecting granite monuments to show us all how righteous they are. But if the Ten Commandments, with its overtly Christian message, is allowed to stay at the Capitol, the Satanic Temple's proposed monument cannot be rejected because of its different religious viewpoint."
Satanists Seek Spot on Oklahoma Statehouse Steps "The House speaker said he wants to build a chapel inside the Capitol to celebrate Oklahoma's Judeo-Christian heritage. Several lawmakers have said they want to allow nativity scenes and other religious-themed symbols in public schools...." "'I think these Satanists are a different group,' Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, said. 'You put them under the nut category.'"