The first question called for an opinion about such monuments. My response to that question took on a more personal and subjective character than usual when the other guest, who spoke before me, closed his remarks with an insinuation that no one who affirms the value of the ten commandments could oppose the erection of the monument.
Under the glare of the lights, in the eye of the camera, and in the heat of the moment, I cannot remember exactly what I said. Here's a close approximation that records what I think I said:
With every fiber of my being I am convicted that it (the monument) is profane. It takes a sacred oath and covenant and converts it into a symbol of profanity. To understand that, you have to understand what the Supreme Court has said about the Ten Commandments.
The Supreme Court ruled that the display of the Ten Commandments in Kentucky was unconstitutional because there it had a religious purpose and meaning. The court ruled that the display of the Ten Commandments in Texas was legal because there it had a secular meaning and purpose.
I believe that the Ten Commandments are a sacred oath and covenant between God and his people. The Supreme Court has no authority to interpret the scriptures and pass judgment on its meaning.
And worse, every one of these displays has the name of God chiseled on it saying "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." Violating that command is precisely what the Supreme Court says makes monuments to the Ten Commandments legal. Taking the name of the Lord in vain means taking it lightly -- as though God's name and his person had no ultimate significance and religious meaning. That is why I am convicted that Ten Commandments monuments on public land are taking a sacred oath and covenant and turning it into a symbol of profanity.
6/3/09 Note: This program is scheduled to air on Cox Communications Channel 7 in Oklahoma City and on Cox Communications Channel 3 in Tulsa at the following times: at 9:00 AM on Sunday, July 5, at 9:30 AM on Monday, July 6, at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, July 7, and at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, July 8.