On Tuesday, House representatives voted 79–11 to pass HB 2177 that would permit public buildings to display "certain documents" that have had an impact on American history. The bill is now moving into the state senate for consideration.
The bill reads:
Every county, municipality, city, town, school or any other political subdivision is authorized to display, in its public buildings and on its grounds, replicas of historical documents including, but not limited to, the Ten Commandments, Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, Oklahoma Constitution and other historically significant documents in the form of statues, monuments, memorials, tablets or any other display that respects the dignity and solemnity of such documents.
Many believe the recent move by the state house is in response to the Oklahoma Supreme Court's 2015 ruling ordering the Ten Commandments to be removed from the state capitol. The court voted 7–2 holding the display violates the state constitution, which prohibits public property to be used "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."
Sponsor of the bill John Bennett said, "The bill will leave it to local governments to decide on whether or not they want to display historic monuments like the Ten Commandments, but I believe they won't find any opposition from most Oklahomans if they decide to put them up."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma said HB 2177 is a desparate attempt by Christians to alienate unbelievers. Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said, "Continued attempts to place a religious monument on the capitol grounds sully the deeply held beliefs of many Oklahomans, marginalize people of minority faiths and those of no faith at all and amount to a monumental waste of time and money."
In November 2016, Oklahoma lawmakers added a resolution on the Oklahoma ballot to replace the Ten Commandment but the resolution was rejected by over 42 percent of voters.
According to reports, HB 2177 will not allow other religions such as "Islam or Satanism" to create public displays because "they did not play a role in the founding of the nation. The bill only applies to the display of historical documents influential in the founding of the state or country."
Oklahoma has been on the front lines of spiritual battles in recent years. There have been several public satanic black masses and a number of satanic public demonstrations, including a 2015 Christmas Eve gathering to desecrate a statue of the Virgin Mary.