UPDATE (7/10/20 5:18 p.m.):
JACKSON’S MILL, W.Va. – The West Virginia University Extension Service has released a statement refuting a report of plans to remove a Ten Commandments monument from Jackson’s Mill.
“In recent days it has been reported that the Ten Commandments monument located at WVU Jackson’s Mill was being removed. Those reports are not true, and there are no plans to remove the Ten Commandments from the Mill.”WVU Extension Service
ORIGINAL STORY (7/9/20 6:28 p.m.):
Del. Patrick Martin, R–Lewis, sent a letter to West Virginia University President Dr. E. Gordon Gee, asking him to stop potential plans to remove or relocate a monument featuring the Ten Commandments from the grounds at Jackson’s Mill.
The monument, which is located outside the historic West Virginia Building, was presented to West Virginia University by the West Virginia State Aerie Fraternal Order of Eagles, according to a press release. Martin was contacted by concerned constituents who brought it to his attention that the university has been seeking price quotes from local contractors to relocate the monument or remove it from Jackson’s Mill entirely.
“It seems that every passing day, our country becomes more divided,” Martin said. “Removing the monument of the Ten Commandments may give some a sense of satisfaction in the short term, all it serves to do is further divide us and ostracize those people who hold Christian values sacred.”
Martin noted in his letter that in 2012, WVU Extension did a major renovation and upgrade to the West Virginia Building, and the monument was not relocated or moved during that construction or after. He said he questions why this would happen now.
“Our founding fathers believed that God granted us all with the inalienable rights of life and liberty,” Martin said. “We absolutely must encourage our leaders to stand brave in the face of our country’s division and to respect the principles upon which our great state and nation were founded.”
In his letter, he asks, along with the extension service, to reconsider any plans to move the monument, or to hold a public meeting where citizens can discuss the decision.
“As a West Virginian, and as a Christian, I proudly embrace my faith and I allow it to guide me in my public service and my personal endeavors. I believe you would find most West Virginians to feel the same,” Martin wrote in the letter.
Martin is the Republican candidate for the 12th Senatorial District, which includes Harrison, Lewis, Braxton and Clay counties and part of Gilmer County. He currently represents the 46th District in the House of Delegates, which includes Lewis County and part of Upshur County.