Friday, June 17, 2011

Spring Dialogues Videos - Part 1/3

Martha Skeeters speaks at Oklahoma State Capitol on Vimeo.

On Saturday, 11 June 2011 Americans United for Separation of Church and State hosted an event at the State Capitol at which various distinguished persons spoke out on various kinds of encroachment of certain churches upon the secular state.

In this video, Professor Martha Skeeters speaks about reproductive choice and the recent history of religious opposition thereto.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Removal of Religious Freedom Protection held up in Committee

The passage of the resolution would allow the use of tax money to promote religion in Oklahoma with no oversight or supervision. We dodged the bullet this legislative session of 2011, but the resolution is still alive

Text of Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution:
Public Money or Property - Use for Sectarian Purposes

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.,_Oklahoma_Constitution

SJR 23 by Anderson

Constitutional amendment; repealing Section 5 of Article II, which relates to the use of public money or property for sectarian purposes. Ballot title. Filing.

History For SJR 23

First Reading 266 02/07/2011 S


Authored by Senator Anderson 266 02/07/2011 S


Second Reading referred to Judiciary 308 02/14/2011 S

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Candidates Ought Not Kowtow To Religious Right

June 2, 2011

Candidates Ought To Reaffirm Church-State Separation, Not Kowtow To Religious Right, Says AU’s Lynn

Presidential Hopefuls At Ralph Reed Event Signal Troubling Power Of Religious Right

The Religious Right has too much influence in American public life as the speaker line-up at a Ralph Reed event this week demonstrates, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

An array of presidential hopefuls and major congressional leaders is scheduled to appear at Reed’s “Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing” June 3 and 4 in Washington, D.C.

Reed is the former head of the Christian Coalition, a religious-political group founded by TV preacher Pat Robertson. Today, Reed is a political consultant and head of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, an organization supposedly dedicated to “educating, equipping, and mobilizing people of faith and like-minded individuals.” He has also made efforts to lure the Tea Party into an alliance with the Religious Right.

“I don’t think Ralph Reed has anyone fooled,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “He wants to forge fundamentalist churches and church members into a disciplined voting bloc and force political candidates to kneel before it.

“This kind of mixture of religion and politics is a grave danger to American public life,” said Lynn, who has monitored the Religious Right for some 25 years. “It is a sad day when our politicians start preaching and our preachers start politicking.”

Concluded Lynn, “I wish all the candidates would have the courage to stand up and say – as John F. Kennedy did in 1960 – ‘I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.’ Today, the Religious Right’s power is such that a statement like Kennedy’s is almost unthinkable. As a matter of fact, candidates are more likely to give their personal profession of faith.”

A recent Americans United survey of the top Religious Right ministries and groups in America revealed a tax-exempt fundamentalist empire with an annual income approaching one billion dollars.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.