BJC Blog RSS Feeds
Home arrow News & Opinions arrow Press Room arrow BJC: Okla. governor should veto religious monument on state capitol grounds
BJC: Okla. governor should veto religious monument on state capitol grounds PDF Print E-mail
Written by Cherilyn Crowe   
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
okla.-capitol_webGovernor will decide this week whether to sign the controversial legislation

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry should veto legislation that would place a monument honoring the Ten Commandments on the state capitol grounds, says a Baptist organization supporting religious liberty for all people.

The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty says that while some Ten Commandments displays may be held constitutional, all Americans should be concerned when government meddles in matters of religion.

On May 11, the Oklahoma state legislature passed a final version of a bill allowing the creation of a Ten Commandments monument paid for with private money to be placed on the state capitol grounds. The final version allows a private group to help the state's attorney general if there is a legal challenge to the monument. Gov. Henry had five days to decide if he will sign or veto the legislation.
K. Hollyn Hollman, Baptist Joint Committee general counsel, said that government displays of the Ten Commandments tend to send a message of exclusion to those who do not share the Judeo Christian tradition and a message of favoritism to those who do.

"We should be more concerned with following the Ten Commandments rather than merely posting them on government property," Hollman said. "Religion flourishes best when the separation of church and state is protected."

The Baptist Joint Committee is a 73-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based religious liberty organization that works to defend and extend God-given religious liberty for all, bringing a uniquely Baptist witness to the principle that religion must be freely exercised, neither advanced nor inhibited by government.

-30-
 

Related Items

 
Louisiana Considers Holy Bible as State Book
Over the years writing this blog, I have seen several state and local governments memorialize the Ten Commandments through monuments, posters and other government displays. But a recent effort in Louisiana is a new (misguided) way to promote Scripture through government: legislators there are...
 
Religious Groups File Brief in Clergy Housing Exemption Appeal
Last year, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled unconstitutional the tax exemption for clergy's housing costs. The parsonage allowance, Judge Barbara Crabb held, favors religion over non-religion in violation of the First Amendment.  Her surprising decision is being appealed to the 7t...