A massive, granite monument of the Ten Commandments has been removed from the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The removal of the large structure took place overnight on Monday so that it wouldn’t attract protestors. Over the summer, the State Supreme Court ruled that the biblical monument, which was donated to the local government, violated the state’s constitution which reads, “No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.”

Before the ruling, the monument’s presence at the capitol gained renewed attention when the Church of Satan announced that they wanted their own monument of the goat-headed demonic entity Baphomet also placed on the grounds. Former state representative Mike Reynolds, who helped authorize the Ten Commandments’ original installation years ago, didn’t seem too happy about the move to have it removed. He told USA Today, "This is a historical event. Now we know we have to change the constitution. It would be good to get rid of some of the Supreme Court justices, too.” Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is now calling for the constitution to be amended to allow the Ten Commandments monument, which she says there is precedence for. She told reporters, “The Ten Commandments is a historical monument … We’re going to let the people of Oklahoma decide this issue.” Discuss

A shooting overnight at the Flagstaff campus of Northern Arizona University left one dead and three others wounded. The alleged shooter, who is an 18-year-old freshman at the school, has been arrested. Details of the shooting are still unclear, but according to early reports, the shooting followed some sort of confrontation in a parking lot on campus. All of the victims were members of the same fraternity. Discuss

Officials in California inserted a last-minute amendment to a new measure that will allow SeaWorld to expand the tanks it uses to house it’s orcas, but now also bans them from breeding whales in captivity. The park, which has come under criticism for its treatment of killer whales, released a statement saying, “Breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animal’s life and depriving a social animal of the right to reproduce is inhumane.” A lawyer for PETA, however, told The Guardian, “These 11 orcas [that are currently at the park] would be the last 11 orcas there.” The measure from the California Coastal Commission also makes it illegal to transfer or sell captive orcas or to keep whales captured at sea. Discuss

The city of North Charleston, South Carolina has reached a settlement with the family of local resident Walter Scott, who was shot and killed by a police officer after a traffic stop in April. According to the terms of the agreement, they will receive $6.5 million. The officer in the case, Michael Slager, was charged with murder. The case drew national attention after video shot by a bystander surfaced, contradicting the police report. The clip showed the officer, who is white, shooting Scott, who was black and unarmed, several times in the back as he attempted to flee following a traffic stop. The officer initially said that Scott tried to grab his TASER, but the video shows Scott running away. Slager also wrote that he attempted to perform CPR on Scott immediately following the shooting, but the video shows him being handcuffed while lying face down on the ground. Following news of the settlement, Scott’s brother told CNN, "The city of Charleston's actions have ensured that Walter did not die in vain. The city sent a message, loud and clear, that this type of reckless behavior will not be tolerated.” Discuss

A public school’s annual Christmas Spectacular play is now at the center of a controversy about the freedom of religion and separation of church and state. For more than 30 years, Concord Community Schools in New Hampshire have produced a large-scale production that includes a live nativity and a reading from Scripture, but this year, it has come under fire from the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the ACLU. The two organizations have filed a federal lawsuit, arguing that the celebration “is coercive, represents an endorsement of religion by the high school and the school corporation, has no secular purpose and has the principal purpose and effect of advancing religion.”

The school’s superintendent isn’t backing down, however, and has argued “If a student or parent finds objectionable any portion of the Spectacular, or any school assignment for that matter, that student is free to opt out of the performance or assignment." The suit was filed on behalf of a student who is involved in the music department, which helps put on the production, but says he is now faced with “direct and unwelcome contact with the objectionable portion of the Christmas Spectacular.” Nothing helps ring in the Christmas season in modern America like a high-profile, federal lawsuit. Discuss

Moments before officials in Texas executed convicted murderer Juan Martin Garcia, the family of the man he killed forgave him. The victims’ widow said “It’s about God. It’s about Jesus.” They had previously tried to stop the execution from happening. The family of Hugo Solano—the man Garcia murdered in 1998 while robbing him of $8—told Garcia they forgave him and that they loved him. In Spanish, Garcia told those gathered, “The harm that I did to your dad and husband–I hope this brings you closure. I never wanted to hurt any of you all.” Despite Ms. Solano pleading with sentencing officials not to pursue the death penalty, the state went through with execution earlier this week. It’s the 11th inmate they’ve killed this year alone. Discuss