Le Flore County may revive plan for Ten Commandments monument

Oklahoman Published: November 12, 2012
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At the height of the attention, Barnes and the Poteau Chamber of Commerce raised enough money to buy a $15,000 monument, according to Horsley and Tulsa World archives.

After the plan's rejection, the monument of two stone tablets was dedicated in January 2010 at Community State Bank in Poteau.

The bank later removed it at the request of the Federal Reserve Bank, which said it violated banking regulations, Community State Bank President Larry Spradley said.

It was then erected near a Braum's restaurant on a lot the bank deeded to Poteau's Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary Unit 63, Horsley said.

If commissioners approve the latest request, Horsley said he would seek to move the monument to the courthouse lawn or buy another with donations. Spradley said his bank likely would offer such a donation to keep the existing monument from sustaining damage during a second move.

“Le Flore County is the Ten Commandments capital,” Horsley said. “We have a Ten Commandments sign in every town in Le Flore County.”

He said the effort is influenced by American history, not religion. County courthouses are the perfect setting for the Ten Commandments because the commandments influenced American laws, he added.

“We do believe that the founding fathers used God's law to help prepare some of the laws we have today,” he said, pointing to commandments not to steal, murder or bear false witness. “That's all part of our laws. It's all part of us today.”

Horsley, commander of Poteau's Disabled American Veterans unit, said the unit is not directly involved in the effort.