Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said on Tuesday she will keep a Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds to allow lawmakers time to find ways to block a state Supreme Court decision ordering its removal.
"During this process, which will involve both legal appeals and potential legislative and constitutional changes, the Ten Commandments monument will remain on the Capitol grounds," Fallin, a Republican, wrote in a statement.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled last week the monument violates a state constitutional section that bans the use of state property for the benefit of a religion.
Lawmakers in the socially conservative state responded with threats to seek the impeachment of the justices and calls for legislation to alter the constitution to allow for its display.
The 6-foot-tall (1.8-meter) stone monument, paid for with private money and supported by lawmakers, was installed in 2012, prompting complaints that it violated the U.S. Constitution's provisions against government establishment of religion, as well as local laws.
"It is a privately funded tribute to historical events, not a taxpayer funded endorsement of any religion, as some have alleged," Fallin said.
After the Ten Commandments monument went up, other groups including Satanists and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, applied to erect their own monuments on Capitol grounds to mark what they say are historical events.
The Satanic Temple criticized Fallin for ignoring the state's top court.
"Governor Falling's statement is an open, flagrant expression of her intent to bypass and re-write state law at her convenience for the benefit of one ill-contrived petty act," said Douglas Mesner, a top group official.
© 2015 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!
- Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
- God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
- HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details