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
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
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.
Emerging details about Hobby Lobby owner Steve Green’s controversial Bible class appear to confirm concerns about its sectarian intentions. The class, which is currently being challenged by Americans United, the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, is set to enter public schools in Mustang, Okla., next year.
A debate over religious symbols at the Oklahoma state capitol took an unusual turn recently when a group that worships Satan inadvertently released an image of a monument it would like to erect on government property. Read more