Quantcast
Connect with us

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

Published

on

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.”

 

 


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

WATCH: Protesters celebrate as Chase Bank was set ablaze during Portland protests

Published

on

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump alerts ‘active-duty U.S. military police’ for possible deployment to Minnesota: report

Published

on

President Donald Trump's administration is contemplating using active-duty U.S. troops in an attempt to quell the protests in Minneapolis, the Associated Press reported early Saturday morning.

As unrest spread across dozens of American cities on Friday, the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests," the AP reported.

"Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours. The people did not want their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the preparations," the AP explained.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

John Roberts joins liberals as Supreme Court rejects challenge to Newsom’s COVID-19 limits on California church attendance

Published

on

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California. The San Diego area church tried to challenge the state's limits on attendance at worship services:

The church argued that limits on how many people can attend their services violate constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and had been seeking an order in time for services on Sunday. The church said it has crowds of 200 to 300 people for its services.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image