Despite a recent court order requiring Oklahoma to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from the grounds of its capitol, Governor Mary Fallin has insisted on leaving the religious symbol in place. In response to the Governor’s refusal to comply with this order, Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, Rev. Bob Lawrence, executive director of Tulsa Interfaith Alliance, and Dr. Carl Rubenstein, president of Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma, released the following statement:
“The Oklahoma Supreme Court has spoken and confirmed what our organizations have always known – that the Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma Capitol violates both the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment. When the Founders drafted the Constitution they sought to ensure that our nation’s laws would not be based on religious belief alone. The American commitment to religious freedom and pluralism demands that we respect the manifold backgrounds from which each American comes to the common cause of our democracy. Placing the Ten Commandments before the people’s house is to say that some religious texts are more central to our law than others, that some people of faith are more American than others. The challenge of America is recognizing that every religious text has something to offer our public policy, and none should be given primacy over others.
“We are pleased that Gov. Fallin takes such great inspiration from the teachings of respect and order found in the Ten Commandments, but that private motivation should not be imposed on the public square and all who enter our Capitol.”