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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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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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Trump’s lawyers are trying to tell Appeals Court they actually won the taxes lawsuit — but are still appealing

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President Donald Trump's lawyers sent out a bizarre letter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, making the case that they actually won their case to keep the president's taxes a secret. It's an odd take given that they're filing for an appeal.

Oct. 7, a federal judge dismissed Trump's efforts in a 75-page opinion calling the White House claim "extraordinary."

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero explained that no occupant of the White House enjoys "absolute immunity from criminal process of any kind." Such a position "would constitute an overreach of executive power."

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Nate Silver claps back at right-wing pollster for accusing him of fraud

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One of the worst-performing national pollsters in the 2018 election cycle was Rasmussen Reports, a right-leaning outfit that is consistently the only one to show President Donald Trump with a net positive approval rating. In 2018, Rasmussen showed Republicans leading the generic congressional ballot by 1 point — but Democrats won the popular vote by 8.4 points.

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Trump told Republicans he didn’t care ‘about terrorists 7,000 miles away’

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President Donald Trump reportedly doesn't care about terrorists, according to sources inside the room after Democrats abandoned the Wednesday meeting with the president.

Washington Post Congressional reporter Mike DeBonis said that the president said "several times" in the meeting that he isn't concerned about terrorists that live 7,000 miles away.

The source said that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) had to remind the president that the Sept. 11 terrorists "came from 7,000 away" themselves.

https://twitter.com/mikedebonis/status/1184592170545745920

The president has neglected to understand terrorists can attack the U.S. on North American soil as well as at embassies, military bases, international sporting events, or even Trump's properties. It would be simple for ISIS to use a car bomb to attack Trump's property in Indonesia, as an example.

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