Editor’s Note: Bruce Prescott is a Southern Baptist minister in Oklahoma and a former member of the Americans United Board of Trustees. Prescott, along with AU chapter activist James Huff, served as a plaintiff in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging display of the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma state Capitol.
On Dec. 4, 2011, Tyler Alred, an Oklahoma teenager who had been drinking, ran a truck into a tree. His passenger and friend, 16-year-old John Dum, was killed.
That’s tragic. I doubt anyone would argue that Alred doesn’t deserve to be punished. But an Oklahoma judge’s response to the matter has been curious, to say the least: District Judge Mike Norman has sentenced Alred to attend church weekly for the next 10 years.
“Personhood” bills are like a game of Whac-A-Mole: every time you smack one down, another pops up somewhere else.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people...they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."
Americans United has taken these words to heart, as it has many other statements made by Jefferson. AU strongly believes that the best way to bring about positive change and preserve religious freedom is to educate Americans on the importance of church-state separation, particularly at the grassroots level.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight a story that reminds me why I am thankful to work for Americans United and the cause of church-state separation.
Last Sunday, Dr. Bruce Prescott of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists interviewed Joann Bell on his radio show.