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Okla. Legislators Take Aim At AP High School Courses In American History

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

Marriage Mess: Okla. Bill Tries But Fails To Remove The State From The Wedding Business

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

Okla. Legislator Seeks To Outlaw Marriage For Atheists

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

Fundamentalist Freak-Out: It’s (Not) The End Of The World As We Know It, And The Religious Right Doesn’t Feel Fine

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

Blasphemous Suggestion: Catholic Writer Calls On Oklahoma To Enforce Archaic Statute

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

Sunday Shopping: Mandatory Store-Closing Laws Made Some People Blue

I just got back from a visit to Southern California, where I spoke in three cities about my book Taking Liberties Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do.

I always take questions at these events. At the event in Irvine, a member of the audience asked me about blue laws. I thought it was an interesting question because it’s an issue that doesn’t come up that much these days. Read more

Class Warfare?: Controversial Bible Elective Now Delayed In Oklahoma

Citing “unforeseen delays,” the Green Scholars Initiative has announced that a potentially unconstitutional Bible class will not be introduced in Mustang, Okla., public schools as planned this fall, and will instead delay the class until next January. The Green Scholars Initiative designed the class and is directly funded by the Green family, the owners of Hobby Lobby.
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