ICC Note: Following the advancement of a bill within the Oklahoma House of Representative, a monument of the Ten Commandments could return to state capitol grounds. This highly contested monument has been the subject of debate for years and was removed from government property in 2015. The bill notes the historical significance of the Ten Commandments with regards to American history, rather than its role as a religious document.
03/24/2017 United States (Christian News Network) – The Oklahoma House of Representatives has advanced a bill that would allow the display of the Ten Commandments on public grounds and thus return the Decalogue display to the state capitol follow its removal in 2015.
H.B. 2177, introduced in January by Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, passed 79-11 on Tuesday and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
As previously reported, the measure recognizes the impact of certain documents on American history.
“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or any other political subdivision is authorized to display, in its public buildings and on its grounds, replicas of historical documents including, but not limited to, the Ten Commandments, Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, Bill of Rights,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,” it reads in part.
Other religions, such as Islam or Satanism, would not be included 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 The bill only applies to the display of historical documents influential in the founding of the state or country.
The measure also authorizes the attorney general’s office to defend the constitutionality of the display should it be challenged in court.