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.
Article II, Section 5 of the Oklahoma state constitution
On Tuesday the Supreme Court of Oklahoma cited Article II, Section 5, when it ruled a stone slab located on the Oklahoma capitol grounds would have to be removed. The, "monument" which was put in place back in 2012 displays the biblical ten commandments which, according to the old testament, were handed down to Moses by God.
It isn't the first time someone has decided the carving should go. Last October, Mr. Michael Tate of Roland, OK reportedly urinated on the monument moments before ramming it with his car. Tate abandoned his vehicle and later showed up at the Oklahoma City federal building claiming he was a Satanist and that voices in his head told him to put it drive and step on the gas. At the same time he told federal authorities he wanted to spit on a picture of Barack H. Obama prior to killing him. Brother Tate currently resides in an unnamed mental facility.
The monument was quickly rebuilt, but the ACLU, among others, continued to pursue litigation which would force its removal. In fact other Satanists--ones apparently not hearing voices in their heads--were threatening to sue in order to have a statue depicting and honoring Beelzebub installed on the grounds nearby.
The 7-2 vote by the Oklahoma Supremes enraged every wild eyed, thick bellied, right wing evangelical in the state. So, yeah, just about everyone. That includes much of the state legislature, whose membership is best known for howling about federal overreach while practicing their own version of it when it comes to nullifying municipal rules and regulations.
According to a story in yesterdays, The Oklahoman, state representative John Echols R-OKC said, "After reading this decision, I understand where the problem is. The state Supreme Court misapplied an archaic and progressive section of our state constitution and used that to apply a ruling that goes against the belief system of the majority of Oklahomans."
Echols and House Speaker, Jim Hickman are promising to put a measure to the voters next year which would repeal the, "archaic, yet progressive," Article II, Section 5. In other words they are going to remove that whole inconvenient separation of church and state thing which just keeps getting in the way of real Christians.
Writer, Rick Green of The Oklahoman reports repeal of the section won't be the only legislative action taken if it is up to other members of the house. According to his story, lawmakers are in a frenzy to impeach every last one of those seven liberal sons of bitches who voted to remove the rock, even though they did so only to uphold the word and spirit of the constitution of Oklahoma. Indeed, our religious beliefs are the law, not this secular shit written ages ago when people actually had a functioning brain and thought legal precedent should out weigh the pulpit.
All of this should come as no surprise given the far right edge's continuing propaganda campaign which attempts to re-write American history. Yes, if you listen to them you'd think the Declaration of Independence and the constitution were both written by a bunch of born again Christian--dunk me in the river--evangelicals. And--that every last one of them would heartily approve of those ten commandments being posted on the state house lawn.
Here is what Thomas Jefferson had to say about it in 1814. "Christianity neither is, nor ever was part of the common law."
Ben Franklin wrote, "I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."
Then there is John Adams who wrote, "This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it."
Patrick Henry was the closest thing to a--come to the rail, or burn in hell sort of guy--but then he fought against the new constitution because he believed it gave the federal government too much power.
Actually this evangelical revisionist nonsense is relatively new. Most serious historians and biographers who were writing in the early to mid 19th century openly acknowledged the agnosticism, deism, or outright atheism of the original leadership of these United States. Unfortunately their words have become lost in the thick billows of smoke being blown by 21st century, morally corrupt, social conservatives.
So there we have it on the eve of Independence Day here on the southern plains. It would seem many are for it, but only so long as the rest of us kowtow to their version of God.
It's what they call freedom of religion.