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Okla. pastor warns GOP plan to give taxpayer dollars to Christians could lead to persecution of non-believers

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Pastor Mitch Randall -- North Haven Church

Oklahoma lawmakers are pushing forward with placing an initiative on the ballot that would allow voters to weigh in on repealing a section of the state constitution that prohibits the use of public money or property for religious purposes.

This, in turn, has led to some religious leaders feeling uncomfortable and calling passage a “big step backwards,” reports the Baptist News.

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In response to the fight over a Ten Commandments monument on state grounds that was disallowed by the state supreme court, the Oklahoma House and the Senate both passed resolutions that will put the matter before the voters.

The Oklahoma state constitution currently reads: “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.”

However, according to Pastor Mitch Randall of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship-affiliated NorthHaven Church in Norman, repeal could lead back to an uglier time in Oklahoma history.

“If successful, they will be taking a big step backwards in returning our state to a time when religious persecution was acceptable under Colonialism and Native Americans were forced to worship as those in authority dictated,” he stated.

The original legal fight to take down the monument — erected in 2012 – was led by Bruce Prescott, an ordained Baptist minister and former head of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists.

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Nonetheless Sen. Rob Standridge (R) pushed forward with his bill saying it “will give the final say to the citizens” of Oklahoma.

Should the voters agree with Standridge, it could open the door to religious groups receiving tax dollars and the use of government property to proselytize.

Passage of the initiative would also open the door to more lawsuits for the state at the federal level, states Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma.

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In a statement, Kiesel said approval of the initiative would result in a flood of First Amendment lawsuits in Federal Court that the state “will almost certainly lose, and considerable expense, all the while continuing to play politics with the deeply held beliefs of Oklahomans instead of directing their attention to the fiscal crisis our state is facing.”

 

 


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2020 Election

Lincoln Project whacks the president: ‘We end COVID when we end Trump’s presidency’

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President Donald Trump on Thursday held a campaign rally in Wisconsin with supporters "packed in like sardines."

At the rally, Trump ridiculed former Vice President Joe Biden for social distancing at campaign appearances with America's death toll over 200,000. Also on Thursday, Biden held a town hall meeting on CNN where he spoke in-depth about the challenges of a coronavirus vaccine.

The Lincoln Project, the group of former top GOP strategists working to defeat Trump, said that "only one candidate will protect your family from coronavirus" in a new video.

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Trump said he would give UN speech despite pandemic — but reversed course and won’t be attending

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US President Donald Trump will not attend next week's UN General Assembly gathering in person, his chief of staff told journalists aboard Air Force One Thursday, according to a pool report.

The decision marks an about-face for Trump, who last month said he wanted to deliver his speech in the General Assembly hall in New York, even if other world leaders are staying away due to the coronavirus pandemic.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ended the debate once and for all, telling reporters en route to Wisconsin, where Trump was to hold a campaign rally, that the president would not physically attend the General Assembly's 75th session, which will take place mainly by videoconference due to the health crisis.

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2020 Election

Trump mocked for 95-minute ‘slurring’ campaign speech — before crowd ‘packed in like sardines’ in Wisconsin

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President Donald Trump gave a fear-filled and factually inaccurate campaign rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin on Thursday.

The rally, held in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, featured a large crowd closely packed together.

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's speech, which lasted approximately 95 minutes:

https://twitter.com/RSBNetwork/status/1306433275381116928

https://twitter.com/bad_takes/status/1306758848577966081

Trump is slurring and sounds tired pic.twitter.com/6MJLw2fpms

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