Well, I just got off the phone a little while ago with Mike Ritze. Ha, ha. Seriously. He’s the Oklahoma legislator who has sponsored a bill to put up a monument of the ten commandments. It just made it out of committee today. I had left him a message saying that there was no way a ten commandments monument can be construed as secular or not endorsing a particular religion. I didn’t expect him to call me back since I am not a constituent of his.
But there I was, shopping for tofu and fermented black beans at the Asian grocery story, when my cell phone starts ringing. So we had a little one-on-one, me standing in the soy sauce aisle, with neither side achieving a clear victory. I have a tendency to get angry and am not the best debater, but for a dickhead elected to public office, he wasn’t much better.
Clearly, I should have done some research before calling. He cited a Texas case that went to the Supreme Court in 2005 – Van Orden v. Perry – as his justification for putting up the monument. I told him that such a monument was not necessary for people to know that murder is wrong and that the only purpose it served was to send a message of divisiveness. He somehow took this mean to that I thought murder was acceptable behavior. Huh?
He asked me what I did for a living and I asked why he wanted to know that. “Well, you’re home during the day so you obviously don’t work for a living.” This is the brilliant sort of mind that some Broken Arrow residents voted to represent them. If I’m against a ten commandments monument, I must be a welfare bum or some such ne’er-do-well.
The fact is that the monument in the Van Orden v. Perry case had been around for four decades before anyone filed a complaint. So while the ten commandments display was ruled secular in that case, an entirely different yet similar case occured at the same time. It was called McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky. The same Supreme Court ruled in that case that the purpose of a ten commandments display was to advance religion and was, thus, unconstitutional. The swing vote in both cases was Justice Stephen Breyer. You can read about both of these in the Christian Science Monitor.
According to the Tulsa World, Tamya Cox of the ACLU of Oklahoma said they are considering a legal challenge so I know where I will be sending my money if this stupid thing passes. I mean, what year does Mike Ritze live in? He wants to think this is some Christian nation where murder is unacceptable, yet he conveniently forgets all the Native Americans murdered by these so-call “Christians” during their westward expansion. Sure, people didn’t think that way several decades ago but they do now.
Let’s pick and choose which biblical laws we will follow, which Supreme Court cases we will cite, which murders are wrong and which are necessary for economic development. And don’t forget, prayers by gay people aren’t really prayers so let’s vote to strike them from the record.
So now I’ve done the research. It would be pointless for me to call again, but don’t let that stop you from calling. His phone number is:
Leave a message. He’ll call you back.