Friday, October 29, 2010

Vote NO on SQ 755!

Dear Oklahoma Members and Supporters of Americans United:

Thank you for all of your efforts, nationally and locally, to support church-state separation. We could not do the work we do without you.

As the election draws near, we'd like to ask you to vote NO on SQ 755, the so-called "Save Our State Amendment."

This measure, placed on the ballot by the legislature, stirs up fear and intolerance rather than doing anything to "save our state."

Banning courts from considering Sharia law is completely unnecessary. The U.S. Constitution already guarantees this--the Establishment Clause prohibits religion being used as the basis of our laws. And the Oklahoma Constitution also clearly bars this. Article I, Sec. 2 states: "Perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, and no inhabitant of the State shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship; and no religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights."

So, what's the real purpose of this amendment? Because the amendment doesn't prohibit reliance on all religious law, just Sharia law, it would seem that the intent is to single out one particular religion's teachings as being wrong. Yet the Constitution cannot express preference for one religion or denigrate another--that too is prohibited by the Establishment Clause. The amendment only adds fuel to the anti-Islam rhetoric currently circulating around the country.

We urge you to vote NO on SQ 755. There is no need for this law and it would have no practical effect. What it would do, however, is send a message to Oklahomans about who are insiders and favored members of the political community and who are outsiders and therefore, unwelcome and disfavored.

Reject this amendment of fear and intolerance!

Americans United

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