Thanks, Damion, for getting this together for our Oklahoma chapter of AU. I want readers to know they are welcome to share this link far and wide regardless of your religious viewpoint. We at www.OKAU.org went to great lengths to keep this debate as civil and balanced as possible, giving every opportunity for each side to present their strongest arguments and documentary evidence. I think we succeeded with a packed house of at least 170 people.
Don't be daunted by the length of the debate. Our moderators and timekeeper were very focused on doing a good job to keeping things moving.
On another fork in the road of civil liberties let me add that the Oklahoma legislature will be considering a resolution numbered SJR 23 that if passed in both Houses would place on the Oklahoma November, 2012 ballot a state question that would remove from the Oklahoma constitution Article 2, sec 5 the prohibition of any tax money being used or given to any religious person or establishment whatsoever.
This undoubtedly would pass with the voters of Oklahoma and turn the civil liberty of freedom of and from religion as outlined in the Federal First Amendment into a raffle prize awarded to the majority. Civil liberties are inherent as a birthright and can not be subject to majority whim or ignorance.
This bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee The text of SJR 23 is here:
STATE OF OKLAHOMA
1st Session of the 53rd Legislature (2011)
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 23 By: Anderson
A Joint Resolution directing the Secretary of State to refer to the people for their approval or rejection the repeal of Section 5 of Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution, which relates to use of public money or property for sectarian purposes; providing ballot title; and directing filing.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 1ST SESSION OF THE 53RD OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE:
SECTION 1. The Secretary of State shall refer to the people for their approval or rejection, as and in the manner provided by law, the repeal of Section 5 of Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution which prohibits the use of public money or property for sectarian purposes.
SECTION 2. The Ballot Title for the proposed Constitutional amendment as set forth in SECTION 1 of this resolution shall be in the following form:
Legislative Referendum No. ____ State Question No. ____
THE GIST OF THE PROPOSITION IS AS FOLLOWS:
This measure would amend Article II of the State Constitution. It would repeal Section 5 of this article. This section prohibits the use of public money or property for certain purposes. This use is banned for sectarian purposes.
SHALL THE PROPOSAL BE APPROVED?
FOR THE PROPOSAL — YES _____________
AGAINST THE PROPOSAL — NO _____________
SECTION 3. The President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall, immediately after the passage of this resolution, prepare and file one copy thereof, including the Ballot Title set forth in SECTION 2 hereof, with the Secretary of State and one copy with the Attorney General.
53-1-121 CD 2/26/2011 8:10:36 PM