Last Sunday, just prior to the Super Bowl, a plucky group of church-state activists gathered in Oklahoma City to discuss the many and various threats to secularism and personal autonomy looming large in the legislature. There were the usual crop of anti-science wedge bills, an amazing assortment of anti-choice bills, and a truly absurd collection of anti-LGBT bills, mostly from internationally famed semi-professional bigot Sally Kern. But the most disturbing of all, in terms of probable anti-secular impact, were a set of bills designed specifically to tear down part of the wall of separation which has been keeping church and state separate in Oklahoma ever since it was first recognized as a state.
Here is a copy of the original state constitution. If you turn to page 13, you will find the following language in Article II, Section 14 as part of our state Bill of Rights:
This fundamental provision lives on today in Article II, Section 5 and was recently interpreted by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to forbid displaying a certain Ten Commandments monument on the State Capitol grounds, as mentioned here in several previous posts. Alas, this victory for secularism lead to an entirely predictable reaction from several of our state legislators, who now want to excise part of our state’s Bill of Rights for the sake of keeping Christian religious privilege writ large and set in stone.
I trust that you all know what to do. E-mails, phone calls, telegrams. Every angry voter counts.