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ACLU suing to remove 10 Commandments monument from Johnston County courthouse

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JOHNSTON COUNTY, Okla.  — There is another fight over a 10 Commandments monument in Oklahoma. The ACLU is filing a lawsuit against the Johnston County Board of Commissioners, seeking the removal of a monument that was recently placed on the lawn of the county courthouse.

Legal Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma Brady Henderson said more than a half-dozen Johnston County residents are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

“This isn’t something we take lightly,” Henderson said. “No public official should try and tell residents what they should believe.”

The lawsuit comes just days after a similar monument was removed from the state Capitol grounds in Oklahoma City.

Hours after the Capitol’s monument was relocated to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, commissioners in Johnston County placed a similar monument on the courthouse lawn.

ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said the organization would continue to push back against attempts by elected officials to force a specific religion on the public.

“No government official has the constitutional authority to use the machinery of government to exploit religion for their own petty political purposes.” Kiesel said. “When the government literally puts one faith on a pedestal, it sends a strong message to Oklahomans of other faiths and those of no faith at all that they are less than equal.”