The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 9-2 for a House Bill 2177 that would allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed on public property. Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, and Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, are authors of the bill, which next goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
State Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, and his family previously had paid for a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Capitol. In 2015, the liberal Oklahoma Supreme Court judged it unconstitutional – even though a similar monument is on public grounds at the Texas State Capitol in Austin – and ordered it removed.
The bill calls for the public display of historical documents, including, but not limited to, the Ten Commandments, Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, Bill of Rights,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 respect the dignity of such documents.”
The liberal Oklahoma Supreme Court justices, in a case brought by the ACLU, claimed that displaying the Ten Commandments – the basis for our legal system – violated the state constitution and had to be removed. Their ruling stated that the Ten Commandments was “religious in nature” and a part of the Jewish and Christian faiths. The court did not order the forced removal of tribal artwork at the Capitol that is “religious in nature.”
“HB 2177 simply allows — not mandates — the display of a document, the Ten Commandments, that the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled as historically significant to our nation’s history, along with other documents in public areas of the state,” Bergstrom said.
Hindus has said they would seek erecting monuments with verses from ancient Sanskrit scripture Bhagavad-Gita in public buildings and on public grounds in Oklahoma, if House Bill 2177 becomes the law.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada, said that Bhagavad-Gita was a “historically significant document”, “recognized throughout the world” and was a “treasure that should be displayed in public buildings and on public grounds” in the form of monuments/tablets with its verses.
To start with, Hindus would seek to place the Bhagavad-Gita monuments/tablets in various Oklahoma public universities and colleges; city halls of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman and Broken Arrow; Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City, Woodward Park in Tulsa; etc.