Gaffe of the Week: Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments come with typos

Jordan Chittley
Daily Buzz

State Representative Mike Ritze spearheaded the project and paid $10,000 of his own money for it

Among the Ten Commandments, which set out some basic laws for how people should live, is nothing that says Thou shalt learn how to spell. So technically, God may not be upset at some people in Oklahoma who installed a Ten Commandments monument, but it sure makes for a funny story.

Three years after Representative Mike Ritze (R - Okla.) first proposed the idea of installing a Ten Commandments monument on the state capitol grounds, the two-metre tall, 900 kg granite block was unveiled. Unfortunately, it had some glaring spelling errors. The monument reads, "Remember the Sabbeth day to keep it holy," and "Thou shalt not covet they neighbor's wife, not his manservant, not his maidseruent." Those words should be "Sabbath" and "Maidservant."

Ritze wanted the monument because, as the bill stated, "The Ten Commandments ... are an important component of the moral foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma."

The ACLU opposed the monument when the bill was being debated, but doesn't plan to sue for it to be removed.

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"The First Amendment of the Constitution seeks to ensure that, regardless of what religion a person chooses to practice or if an individual decides to practice no religion at all, that they stand as equals in the eyes of the government," said ACLU Oklahoma chapter executive director Ryan Kiesel in a statement. "When the government literally puts one faith on a pedestal, it sends a message to Oklahomans of different religions that they are less than equal."

However the Wisconsin-based group Freedom From Religion Foundation does plan to bring forward a lawsuit, according to NewsOK.

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But instead of fighting these potential lawsuits and complaints, the representative is busy answering questions about the spelling errors.

"It's a simple oversight and it will be fixed quite easily is my understanding, but the monument company said there's no problem fixing that," said Ritze, who paid $10,000 of his own money to have it created, to The Associated Press.

He was right about that. The typos were fixed within a couple days, according to News9.

For this, Mike Ritze and the company he chose to create the monument are awarded the Gaffe of the Week. We commemorated this with a statue of Rob Ford in butter.

Gaffe of the Week runs each Thursday on Yahoo! Canada News.

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