OKLAHOMA CITY, July 1, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that the Ten Commandments on the State Capitol grounds must be removed, holding that it violates separation of Church and State.
According to the Court ruling issued Tuesday, the six-foot-tall stone slab violates the Oklahoma Constitution and must be removed immediately, finding that it is "obviously" a religious document and that the state cannot promote a specific religion on public grounds.
"The Ten Commandments are obviously religious in nature and are an integral part of the Jewish and Christian faiths," the Court ruled. "Because the monument at issue operates for the use, benefit or support of a sect or system of religion, it violates Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma constitution and is enjoined and shall be removed."
No public funds were used to build the monument, instead erected through private donations. It's been in place since 2012 with the approval of the legislature.
Opposition to the monument didn't just come from secularists or satanists, but also from Christians themselves. One of the plaintiffs, Bruce Prescott, an ordained Baptist minister, argued that the Ten Commandments have no place on state grounds because they appear to endorse Christianity as the state religion.
"I am not opposed to Ten Commandments monuments; I'm opposed to them on government property," he said. "How do you take a covenant between God and His people and make it a secular monument?"
Prescott also added that opposing the monument was the most faithful stance he could take, saying that if it is no longer religious and now secular, it diminishes religion.
"They've just completely destroyed the significance in value of the words," he said.
Defenders of the monument argued that it had a "historical context" owing to the heavy influence the Ten Commandments had on Western and American law.
Oklahoma satanists have expressed pleasure with the ruling and have even stopped plans to propose their own satanic display on the state capitol grounds.
"The Ten Commandments monument really does have no place on the state capitol grounds," said Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves. "The whole idea was that we were offering to counterbalance to the Ten Commandments."