Wednesday, March 28, 2012

School voucher law ruled unconstitutional by Tulsa district judge

clip  Last September, the Union and Jenks school districts countersued the parents of six special-needs children to challenge the constitutionality of law. They said it violated the state constitution's prohibition against sending public dollars to private, sectarian institutions. 


But Jerry Richardson, the school districts' attorney, noted that of the 40 private schools approved to participate in the scholarship program, only two were not affiliated with a church or religion. 


However, Nightingale ruled that the school districts' had legal standing - meaning they were able to show they were harmed by the law - to initiate the lawsuit.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Video of the 2nd Hot Button Debate

Here's what you've all been waiting for, video of the 2nd Hot Button Debate

Abbie Smith vs. Steve Kern

Here is the link to the debate proper

Here is the link to the Q & A session, approximately 25 minutes.

Brian wrote: "Thanks to Damion Torres Reinhardt and Jon Kirkpatrick for all their help in making the video possible. The "Question and Answer" section of the video will be up hopefully within the next few days. It contains some of the most entertaining comments of the debate. Enjoy."

Friday, March 16, 2012

Scientist and pastor debate "intelligent design" at OCCC

photo from Red Dirt Report, Andrew Griffin

complete at:

Scientist and pastor debate "intelligent design" at OCCC

That was the topic of discussion Thursday night at the "Second Annual Hot-Button Debate" held at Oklahoma City Community College and sponsored by the Oklahoma City Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church & State.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

All the more reason to keep Government and Religion Separate

Controversial author claims Pres. Obama has Muslim secret

clip  Over 100 people showed up at Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond to hear renowned speaker and author Avi Lipkin. He is known for his radical beliefs, what he says is President Obama's secret to legalize 50 million to 100 million Muslims from around the world and make them America citizens.

Read the response:

clip  Church pastor Paul Blair, who is running for state Senate against incumbent Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, implied that Muslims just need a Jesus vaccination against the Muhammad fever that’s clouded their thinking.
“Muslims are people who need Jesus Christ just like anybody else,” Blair said. “However, the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood and their front groups, including CAIR, is to establish a worldwide caliphate which would include the conquest of America and the subjugation of any other religion that does not confess that there is no god but Allah.”

Invocation Intemperance: State-Sponsored Prayer Rankles In Hawaii And Oklahoma

The earlier part of this article from AU discusses developments in the Hawaii legislature.

Here is the pertinent Oklahoma portion---

Meanwhile, a March 1 invocation (that was really a sermon) before the Oklahoma House of Representatives has been making the rounds on YouTube. Pastor Bill Ledbetter of Fairview Baptist Church launched into a “Christian nation” rant replete with bad history, attacks on church-state separation, assaults on evolution and legal abortion and a declaration that Americans was “founded in the person of Christ and his word, the Bible.”

Ledbetter just goes on and on. It’s a remarkable fountain of ignorance and intolerance – and it was greeted with prolonged applause and a standing ovation.

Americans United has been challenging government’s use of prayers (which are usually Christian) before meetings in court lately and having success. Our opponents in the Religious Right say we’re being extreme and trying to drive every vestige of religion out of public life.

In response, I can only point to the recent incidents in Hawaii and Oklahoma. Is this really the kind of country you want to live in? Do you want an America where people who protest actions they believe are unconstitutional are mauled and where extreme fundamentalist ministers are invited by government to spew narrow-mindedness and hate in your name?

That’s not the America that Americans United supports. We will continue our efforts to prevent the halls of government from being converted into houses of worship.