- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The American Civil Liberties Union is waging judicial war on Oklahoma, suing the state over a Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol building that one attorney for the group decries as an unwelcome mat to visitors.

“On fundamental matters of faith, the state has no business telling its citizens what to believe,” said Daniel Mach, director of the national ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, in Raw Story. “No one should be made to feel unwelcome at their own state Capitol.”

The monument was a $10,000 gift from Republican Rep. Mike Ritze and his family in 2009. It was placed in a prominent area in the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City, with the consent of the legislature.

But the ACLU says it must go. In a lawsuit filed at the request of a handful of state residents — including former teacher Jim Huff, former social studies educator Cheryl Franklin and retired businessman Donald Chabot — the ACLU “seeks to have the monument removed” because it allegedly uses government property to promote one religion over another, and “trivializes” the religious roots of the Ten Commandments by putting them in “a political and secular context,” Raw Story reported.

The report didn’t include a response from the state.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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