New Plan for Public Displays of 10 Commandments on Oklahoma Governor's Desk

May 4, 2018

Credit OPMX

At least 99 Oklahoma lawmakers are determined to have the 10 Commandments displayed on state property.

That's how many senators and representatives voted for House Bill 2177, which allows for the display of documents historically significant to the United States or Oklahoma, including the 10 Commandments.

"Do you think any of these other historically relevant religions should be able to display artifacts as well?" Rep. Jacob Rosecrants asked HB2177's author, Rep. John Bennett.

"None of them can be tied back to the founding of our nation so, in that case, no," Bennett said.

Rep. Justin Humphrey said the U.S. Supreme Court has the 10 Commandments on display.

"They’re able to display these because of historical value and they’re not getting sued, so we would just be following suit what the precedent they’ve already set," Humphrey said.

The court’s 10 Commandments are part of a wide-ranging work on the history of law.

Rep. Cory Williams said he remembers a similar conversation from 2012, when a 1-ton, granite 10 Commandments monument went up at the capitol.

"As long as we say it’s historical in nature and not religious and we hold our breath and we cross our toes and we count to three, it’s going to be fine and we won’t get sued and we won’t lose that. Except that we did. How is this different?" Williams said.

The bill includes the Magna Carta and Mayflower Compact as examples of documents significant to Oklahoma or U.S. history.