The Oklahoma Supreme Court recently said a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the capitol building in Oklahoma City is unconstitutional. This is not only a big win for those who value church-state separation, it’s also a serious blow to the idea that government-sponsored religious symbols are merely ceremonial. Read more
Both chambers of the Oklahoma legislature have passed bills that would allow individuals to opt out of performing same-sex marriages. S.B. 788 would allow public officials, like court clerks, to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses; H.B. 1007 applies specifically to members of clergy. Read more
Lawmakers in Oklahoma are out to whitewash Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History courses, and if they succeed the state’s students will pay the price.
The measure, HB 1380, was introduced in February by Rep. Dan Fisher (R-Yukon). If passed, it would end funding for AP U.S. History classes and require the Oklahoma Department of Education to scrutinize the AP curriculum. Although it only addresses history classes, it could be extended to other AP courses if it passes. Read more
The Oklahoma House has passed a bill that would, critics claim, throw the current laws on civil marriage in the state into chaos. HB 1125, sponsored by State Rep. Todd Russ (R-Cordell), would require couples to have a member of the clergy or another registered officiant solemnize the wedding and issue a marriage certificate. The bill would eliminate marriage licenses altogether. Read more
Alarmed by the spread of same-sex marriage, Oklahoma state Rep. Todd Russ (R-Cordell) has proposed a bill that would prohibit judges and other public officials from performing weddings and issuing marriage licenses.
Licenses would have to be approved by a clergy person in order to be valid, and there are restrictions on which clergy can approve marriage licenses. Read more
The Mustang, Okla., school district announced two months ago that the Bible curriculum designed by Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green and his merry band of conservative evangelical scholars would not appear in its classrooms. Read more
Mat Staver, a Religious Right attorney and dean of Liberty University’s law school, isn’t very happy with the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the same-sex marriage cases.
As I’m sure you’ll recall, the high court’s Oct. 6 decision not to wade into this matter had the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in a bunch of states, several of them in the Bible Belt. (Here are some shots of same-sex couples getting married in Oklahoma – Oklahoma! Pretty darned amazing.) Read more
The prospect of a satanic “black mass” in Oklahoma City’s CitySpace Theater has moved one Catholic commentator to call for the state to enforce its archaic blasphemy laws. In an editorial for the National Catholic Reporter, Phyllis Zagano cites the mass’ tradition of stomping on the sacred host as justification for her argument. Read more