Thursday, October 8, 2015

It's Finally Gone

At last, the saga is over. The Oklahoma City Ten Commandments monument has finally been removed from the capital grounds. The monument, which sparked so much drama, has been moved to its new home at a local think tank. I've covered the drama surrounding the monument for several years now here on Augoeides, and it amazes me how much press the issue wound up generating.

The monument was removed late at night in order to limit disruptions to employees at the state capitol and to keep protesters from interfering with the removal process, according to the Associated Press. The capitol also erected barricades earlier on Monday to protect the monument before its removal.

The state paid a contractor $4,700 to remove the 2,400-pound granite tablet, Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services spokesman John Estus told the AP. Yet the state did not use taxpayer funds to pay the contractor, according to Oklahoma City station KFOR.

The state still technically owns the monument, but it is currently being stored at Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a nearby think tank, according to the AP.

As for me, I'm glad that Oklahoma lawmakers finally agreed to follow the law, but disappointed that they decided not to go the route of allowing other religious groups to erect their own monuments. To my way of thinking, that would have made for a better statement that lined up more completely with America's vision of free religious expression. The problem, though, is that the Poor Oppressed Christians just won't stand for it. So since the law says all or none, we just have to make do with none.

UPDATE: In a related story, the company that rebuilt the monument after it was wrecked by a car has reported that it was never paid for the work. So this isn't just about Oklahoma lawmakers being discriminatory, it's apparently about them being cheapskates as well.

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