The embattled granite statue of the Ten Commandments was quietly removed from the state house grounds of the Oklahoma City capitol building late Monday evening once and for all.
It was done in the cover of darkness to avoid any protests or demonstrations, and cost the state $4,700 to pay a contractor to move it to another public office down the street.
The two-ton monument has been the target of controversy since its installation in 2012, both from the ACLU and from a Baptist minister, according to USA Today. Both believed the statue violated the state’s constitution and needed to be on private property. The Oklahoma Supreme Court agreed and voted 7-2 for its removal earlier this year.
The $10,000 monument was approved by the state legislature in 2009 and paid for through private funds from state Republican lawmaker Rep. Mike Ritze. Its removal was brought about by an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit.
This statue was actually a replacement, as the original had been destroyed last year when a 29-year-old man was “told by Satan” to urinate on it and smash it with his car.
There was also an attempt by a Satanic temple to place a statue of Baphomet alongside the Ten Commandments — in the name of religious liberty, of course — in Oklahoma on which children could sit with the devil. That statue was unveiled in Detroit during the Summer and is again being used as a pawn to force Arkansas into removing its Ten Commandments monument.
Now, Oklahoma Republican legislators are going to introduce a resolution in the new year for public vote to amend that portion of the state constitution which bars the use of public money or property for religious purposes.
Former state Rep. Mike Reynolds was in attendance Monday night with several other members and supports to watch the removal. He said, “This is a historical event. Now we know we have to change the Constitution. It would be good to get rid of some of the Supreme Court justices, too.”