ACLU Sues To Remove 10 Commandments Monument From OK Capitol

Tuesday, August 20th 2013, 4:51 pm

Less than a year after a 10 commandments monument was erected at the Oklahoma State Capitol the ACLU has filed a lawsuit to have it removed.

The monument was placed on the north side of the capitol this past winter. It was paid for by Rep. Mike Ritze with his own money. But those filing the lawsuit say the monument's location makes it unconstitutional.

11/15/2012 Related Story: 10 Commandments Monument Erected At Oklahoma Capitol

As Bruce Prescott was walking down the North Steps inside the capitol late last year, he looked out the window and saw the monument. He was "highly offended."

Prescott, a Baptist minister, filed a complaint with the ACLU.

"It's inappropriate, it's not the right place," said Prescott. "Put it on the doorpost that's what the Bible says, it doesn't say to put it at the State Capitol."

Late Monday lawyers with the Oklahoma ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of Prescott and three other Oklahomans saying the monument violates the Oklahoma Constitution.

"Our constitution makes it clear you cannot use state property and state resources to support a particular religion and this monument does just that," says Brady Henderson, Legal Director with the Oklahoma ACLU.

But those who support the monument argue that it is of historical and cultural significance not religious.

"It's not a bad way to live your life, no matter what your beliefs are," argued Jon Lynn who was walking by the monument Tuesday morning.

"That's just ridiculous," countered Prescott of the argument. "It's either disingenuous, not telling the truth or somebody just doesn't understand what it says."

Henderson with the ACLU says it could take a couple years for the courts to make a decision on if the monument can stay.