With just under two weeks to go until election day, I would like to make a final plea on behalf of constitutional conservatism in the Bible Belt.
Oklahoma’s State Question 790 would tear down our state constitutional wall of separation between church and state, which has been in place ever since our founding in 1907. Passage of this bill would have at least three distinctly negative effects on the citizens of Oklahoma. SQ790 will:
- Corrupt the churches — SQ790 would open up churches, temples, and mosques to sectarian conflict as various denominations and faiths engage in lobbying for their own slice of the public treasury. No one can honestly believe that the pursuit of piety will be enhanced by the process of politicking.
- Undermine the state — SQ790 would allow legislators to funnel public monies to politically favored faith schools at the expense of both public schools and religious minorities.
- Invite endless litigation — SQ790 would remove the venerable safeguards built into our state constitution against intermixing of faith and government. This would encourage our state legislators to experiment even further with pushing the boundaries of federal First Amendment prohibitions on church/state entanglement, for example, by making the monumental mistake of once again displaying the Ten Commandments at the State Capitol. As Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Steven W. Taylor has written on this matter, in the case of Prescott v. Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission, “Under a proper federal analysis, this monument would likely be held unconstitutional under the First Amendment.”
These are just the most obvious and probable negative effects of removing existing constitutional safeguards. Other potential problems abound; you may read about these issues further below:
Protect Religious Freedom in Oklahoma: Vote No on SQ 790 — https://t.co/Y0vQRwKNb3 pic.twitter.com/shQvj5Ehs7
— Americans United (@americansunited) October 25, 2016
An editorial from my old friend and former Ten Commandments plaintiff, Aimee Breeze.
GPS’ Guide to the 2016 Oklahoma Election | Caleb Lack https://t.co/AQccMsFLmW
— Skeptic Ink (@SkepticInk) October 21, 2016
A comprehensive guide to all the Oklahoma State Questions from my Skeptic Ink colleague, Dr. Caleb Lack.
Editorial endorsement: Voters should reject State Question 790 https://t.co/7LE3o4i4v6 #SQ790 #OKelections pic.twitter.com/RFQRDgL2Ie
— Tulsa World Opinion (@TWOpinion) October 10, 2016
Editorial from the staff of the Tulsa World. Money quote: “SQ 790 is an unholy solution to an earthly problem.”
#SQ790 could mean a Ten Commandments monument returns to the state capitol. But does it open Okla. to more lawsuits? https://t.co/F0nHo93j1y
— KOSU (@KOSURadio) October 24, 2016
In which the ACLU essentially promises to file a federal lawsuit against the Ten Commandments monument, should it ever be returned to the Capitol.
KTOK's Gwin Faulconer-Lippert had AUOKC's Dwight Welch and Brenda Weber on her show this Sunday talk about SQ… https://t.co/PDR90TPdoH
— OK Church/State (@OKSeparation) October 25, 2016
For the audiophiles out there, you can listen to grassroots activists from Americans United for Separation of Church and State discussing SQ790 on local news radio.
If I missed any good sources about SQ790, please leave a link below!