4 Things Oklahoma Got Wrong About the 10 Commandments Monument


It’s always hard to fault people when their hearts are in the right place. Most of the actions taken by the Oklahoma government that pertained to erecting and fighting to keep it at the Capitol were done with proper motives, but the strategy they’ve used has been a series of follies that have resulted in multiple victories for the opposition.

Before we get into the four things that really chapped my khakis, it’s important to understand that this truly was (or should have been) a strategy rather than a series of actions. They acted in good faith when they should have been viewing the entire process from start to finish as a scenario that required political and even religious strategies to make it work out properly.

Let’s take a look at it starting with the most recent mistakes and working our way backwards.

Plans to Fight, AKA Opening Up a Can of Worms

Now that the monument has been removed, the state legislature plans to remove the portion of the state constitution that forced the state supreme court to act. The provision calls for the prohibition on the use of public property to support “any sect, church, denomination or system of religion.” On the surface, fighting this seems like a righteous move, but they’re too late. Removing the provision and replacing it with with a call for a majority vote from the people to allow for religious monuments on public property would have been the proper first move in 2009 when the monument was proposed.

Now, they’ve already lost their protection. The importance of setting it as a majority vote from citizens would have allowed for prevention of false religious artifacts from being in play. If the state got to the point where the people would vote for a Baphomet or other pagan idol, then the state of the country will have already been set. Now, trying to introduce an amendment will be forced into inclusiveness. They will not be able to sneak in the popular vote provision. That ship has sailed.

To do it today would be to allow false idols to be erected on public property. They’re opening up a can of worms if they’re able to amend the constitution in this manner today.

Removing the Monument in the Dead of Night

This act was practical. They thought that starting the removal at 10:30 at night would prevent demonstrators from both sides. They were correct. Unfortunately, it’s another case of their heart being in the right place but their actions failing to inspire.

This should have been done in the middle of the day with protesters and media present. There should have been a speech about the nature of separation of church and state (which is a concept to protect religious activities from the government, not the government from religious influence), how the country is heading down a dark path by completely eliminating God from governance, and that the state is one of the final strongholds for Judeo-Christian beliefs as the majority.

Instead, they snuck it away to prevent a big fuss. This needed a big fuss.

It Shouldn’t Be In Storage

The potentially final resting place for the monument is behind closed doors. Its storage at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs is done because they feel like they’ll be able to put it back in its rightful place once the amendment is passed.

It should be on display on private property close by. The closer the better. Certainly they could have found a private sponsor to take over the upkeep and display it proudly as close to the Capitol as legally possible. Instead, it’s hidden.

It Should Never have Been Built in the First Place

This will make some of our Christian readers upset to hear us say this, but times have changed. The society is no longer impressed with monuments. They’re no longer swayed by symbols, or to put it more accurately, they’re not going to have their hearts changed by symbols.

The time, money, and legal fighting that went into this project should have been used for the ground game. That’s where we’re at in this society. Liberals and atheists are winning the legal battles. They’re changing society at the government level. To reverse this trend, the hearts of the voters and the influence of Christianity must be addressed face-to-face, hand-to-hand.

This battle was doomed to be lost and now it represents further disheartening among conservative Christians who are still hoping for better.

Imagine the same effort, money, and legal fighting put towards tangible efforts rather than symbolic ones. Imagine a fight to justify the theory of evolution and Creation on equal footing in schools. Imagine putting the effort towards the fight against abortion, gun grabbers, or religious liberties under attack from the left.

It’s too late for symbolic battles. We need to get down into the trenches and fight for what’s right.

Removing Oklahoma 10 Commandments Monument



The 10 YouTube Commandments You Should Live By Every Day

The 10 YouTube Commandments You Should Live By Every Day

The 10 YouTube Commandments You Should Live By Every Day


87 days until SMW September 14-18 Conference.

You have a YouTube channel, but it’s not bringing in the hordes of traffic you expected, and in fact, not even your friends and family are visiting it on a regular basis. Your content might even be really strong too, but for some reason, those videos are not converting sales and driving traffic.

If these thoughts applied to you in any way, let me introduce you to Matt Gielen, the Director of Audience Development and Programming at Frederator, and author of a book discussing The 10 YouTube Commandments outlined a bit later here.

Some of these commandments are no-brainers, but sometimes, those are the ones we need to remember first, such as Commandment #2, “Make Awesome Content”. Just because you created a kick-ass video, it doesn’t mean anyone cares. 100 million minutes of video are uploaded every hour to YouTube, and with all that video, how the heck are you going to break through all that noise?

When analyzing your videos, don’t just take your best friend’s word for it. Get your hands dirty and dive into YouTube’s analytics. One of the key metrics to look out for is audience completion rate. Also pay close attention to the number of high quality engagements (HQE) such as “Likes” shares, favorites and comments.

Analytics are useful, but go beyond the numbers, and truly look at the content you’re producing. Does it tell a story? Does it provide value in some way? Why would someone take the time to seek out this video, let alone watch it entirely? Once you are satisfied, and better yet, excited, by the content you are pushing to your customers and community, you must follow Commandment #9, “Communicate Your Schedule”.

YouTube channels with large audiences typically produce content the same day at the same time each week. It allows fans to know when to expect a new video, and even if you don’t have a large following to begin with, it’s still crucial to stick to a schedule. This way, as you slowly but surely build an audience, most of, or perhaps all of, your community will know your content schedule better than you will, and that’s a good thing!

Many individuals say, “Oh, I love my fans,” but words are cheap, as Gielen says, “What have you done for your fans lately?

“When you are just starting out, you can ReTweet and Direct Message your fans to foster relationships. Give shout outs to fans on your videos and comment on other videos to integrate yourself into the creator community and culture.”

Offline-experiential activations are also quite powerful for YouTube. Gielen shared a story of one YouTuber who rented out a restaurant, invited all of his fans, and treated them to dinner. At the end of the day, you want to give your fans a story that they can share online, with their friends, and for years to come.

Commandment #5 is also great, “Create Great Thumbnails”. Today, we only take a few seconds to judge an entire piece of content before deciding whether or not we want to click on it. Two ways to catch the audience’s eyes are bright colors and the use of text that pops off the background in the thumbnail. If you have a series, be consistent in your branding so audiences know that it’s you.

Of course, all rules are made to be broken, and that’s where innovation comes from, hence Commandment #10 “Ignore All Previous Commandments”. Here are the 10 commandments in order:

  1. Make Awesome Content
  2. Love Your Audience
  3. Be Authentic
  4. Be Consistent
  5. Create Great Thumbnails
  6. Create Great Titles
  7. Collaborate
  8. Communicate Your Schedule<</strong>
  9. Use Calls to Action
  10. Ignore All Previous Commandments

Sibylla Nash is an author and freelance writer. You can find her at sibyllanash.com.

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