Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies today offered to host Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments monument at its home office near the state Capitol at 2501 N. Stiles Ave. in Oklahoma City. The nonpartisan organization extended the offer to Gov. Mary Fallin, Attorney General Scott Pruitt and state Rep. Mike Ritze, whose family paid for the monument’s construction.
“Faith has always been of utmost importance to Oklahoma Farm Bureau members,” said Monica Wilke, OKFB executive director. “We are proud to give the monument a home until the Legislature is able to take further action to find a permanent location for the monument.”
On June 30, 2015, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the monument violates the state’s constitutional ban against the use of public funds or property to benefit a religion. Despite an appeal for a rehearing by Pruitt, the state’s highest court affirmed its previous ruling.
Pruitt again filed a motion alleging the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s ruling expressed an unconstitutional hostility toward religion. However, on Sept. 11 a district judge said the monument must be removed within 30 days.
Farm Bureau, located just yards from the Ten Commandments’ original location on the state Capitol grounds, is a nonpartisan organization that would preserve the monument on its property until the legal issues are resolved.
“As an organization that begins many of its meetings with prayers, Farm Bureau appreciates the significance of the monument and what it represents to citizens across our state,” Wilke said.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the state’s leading general agriculture organization, is a group of farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing issues and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity and social advancement in each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. OKFB is committed to improving the lives of rural Oklahomans through advocacy, education and member benefits.