By Darla Shelden
The Oklahoma City Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church & State will hold its third annual Oklahoma Legislative Preview on Saturday, Jan. 28, in the Oklahoma Capitol Building State Senate Chamber, in Oklahoma City.
The event, “Protecting Religion from Itself,” previews bills submitted by members of both Houses of the Oklahoma Legislature that the group believes could interfere with or encumber First Amendment rights of freedom of religion.
It will be presented in an open discussion from 10 a.m. until noon.
“Our Oklahoma City Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church & State wants to help insure all Oklahomans have their First Amendment right to freedom of religion protected from the encroachment of others who think there is only one way to exercise religious conscience,” said James Nimmo, OK-AU Communications Chair. “There are as many ways to worship or not worship as there are people in the state.
“The use of tax money and government resources to promote a single religious viewpoint is a violation of the Oklahoma Constitution’s Article 2, section 5 which is even more explicit then the Bill of Rights First Amendment,” he stated.
The language of the 2012 bills will be reviewed and discussed in an open meeting with any interested citizens, who will be encouraged to interact during the session. Sponsors of selected bills will be invited to speak briefly about each topic.
“Informing the citizens is what our Oklahoma chapter wants to do,” said Nimmo. “Our voters should not be misled into passing another insulting ballot measure like the Sharia law amendment that has recently been enjoined by the District of OKC and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.”
Access to the Senate Chamber will be through the west security entrance of the State Capitol. Ample free parking and handicapped facilities are available.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.
Americans United (AU) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit educational organization based in Washington, D.C. that works in the court system, in Congress and state legislatures, at the White House and in the arena of public opinion.
Founded in 1947 by a broad coalition of religious, educational and civic leaders, Americans United represents members and supporters in all 50 states.
For more information visit www.okau.org or contact John Loghry at 405-651-5605 or James Nimmo at 405-843-3651.