The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Local news

May 12, 2009

Ten Commandments bill wins final OK

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A bill to allow a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma Capitol breezed to final approval in the state Senate on Monday in the face of declarations it is unconstitutional and will be tested in court.

The measure now goes to Gov. Brad Henry. It passed the Senate 38-8 after getting only two "no" votes in the House the previous week.

Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, argued the bill ran afoul of the U.S. Constitution and amounted to state government establishing a religious preference.

She recalled as a child watching Charlton Heston in the leading role of the 1956 movie, "The Ten Commandments," and always understood "there was a religious connotation to the issue, rather than historic."

She said it "disregards our Christian beliefs...that we're supposed to love our neighbors and have respect" for people of "all faiths.

Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, Senate sponsor, said the bill is patterned after a Texas law that has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. He said the monument will represent the historical significance of the Ten Commandments, not religious.

"Certainly it has historic religious connotations as well, but our rule of law is based on the Ten Commandments," he said. "It is the most quoted reference of any other document by our founding fathers during the drafting of our Declaration of Independence."

The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, sent a letter Monday urging Henry to veto the bill.

Lynn said the measure is unconstitutional and "it's begging for a legal challenge."

He said the Supreme Court decision on the Texas law does not mean the Oklahoma law will withstand a legal fight. In the Texas case, he said the monument had been in a monument park for 40 years with 17 other monuments and 21 historical markets.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Selling Norman is love at first sight

    Meeting planners who make a site visit to Norman tend to fall in love, convention and hospitality experts said this week. The staff of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau are commissioned with the job of promoting tourism and selling ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Green House is a homegrown business

    Nancy Muenzler was a banker in her previous life. That was before the Green House, 1708 SW 24th Street, became her passion....

    April 20, 2014

  • Conan’s martial arts moves downtown

    Conan’s Kickboxing, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, MMA Academy is celebrating the grand opening of a new facility right in the heart of downtown Norman at 310 E. Main St. Founded in 1996 by four-time World Kickboxing Champion Scott “Conan” ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Chamber welcomes new members

    The Norman Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all our sales volunteers and welcome our new Chamber members from our recent spring membership drive.  Suzanne McAuley was this year’s membership drive chair....

    April 20, 2014

  • It’s easier than ever to be your own movie producer

    Things have certainly come a long way since 1988, when the first stand-alone audio CD recorders outside of CD manufacturing plants started showing up. At that time, do-it-yourself CDs were the province of the rich and famous, as the ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Is Okla. backing off accountability?

    One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal....

    April 19, 2014

  • Hope Trunk travels to Norman

    The rustle of paper could be heard as students meticulously folded one crane, then another and another Friday afternoon. After reading the inspiring story, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” Cleveland Elementary School fifth graders ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Congressman Cole reflects on recovery

    Congressman Tom Cole’s home in Moore was not hit by the May 20 tornado but it came pretty close. His wife has made it clear she wants a saferoom, he said. In a visit to the Transcript on Friday afternoon, Cole talked about tornado ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Gaylord to get $35,000 grant for poverty project

    A team from Gaylord College is among the first winners in a national competition to fund innovative news experiments that serve communities, the Online News Association has announced....

    April 19, 2014