Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Libertarian Party and Their Faith Policy In Oklahoma

Will Chaplains Be Banned from The Oklahoma National Guard?

  Well it looks like the folks at the  Libertarian Party of Oklahoma have a starkly different view of the commandments monument than the Republican party; and this may curtail their effort to get signatures, to gain ballot access?
  In the original ruling on the commandments, the district court judge accepted the premise of the legislature. Here's that legislative statement:

The Oklahoma legislation establishing the monument recognizes:
  • "That the Ten Commandments are an important component of the foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma;   
  • That the courts of the United States of America and of various states frequently cite the Ten Commandments in published decisions; and 
  • Acknowledgements of the role played by the Ten Commandments in our nation’s heritage are common throughout America.”
  As we learned in the South Carolina flags discussion, capitol buildings and grounds serve not only as a meeting place and legislative hall, It is a museum of civilization as it pertains to the state. It reflects the perspective of the people and forces which impact the formation of the state.  Cultural, ethnic, spiritual, and philosophical factors are essential to understanding the people - past and present. And there's no way to accomplish that understanding without being aware of the past shared values.

  Patriotism, itself; is a system of values, along with rites and rules whereby national symbols like the flag are taught. Our legislatures teach reverence for flags much like our preachers teach respect for bibles. 

The Oklahoma Constitution says: Section II-5

Public money or property - Use for sectarian purposes. No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.
  Are chaplains in the Oklahoma National Guard an illegal establishment of government support of religion? Are faith groups now banned from using any public property? Are bible clubs again banned from public schools? There is already a clear case to appeal this ruling in the federal courts, since the SCOTUS has ordered that faith groups must have equal access to public facilities, for religious uses.
  There is a difference between granting common access to shared public facilities, and the stark establishment of just one, or a few; favored religions. The Supreme Court of Oklahoma incorrectly chose a mindset of exclusion of all faiths from any access to public facilities, rather than the more reasonable inclusion of faith groups access to the same resources which we collectively make available to other interest groups. And even further, the Supreme Court set a precedent that no public museum can own, display, or teach about any historical matter involving any faith, not even as a historical factor.
We will not be able to teach that Dr. Martin Luther King was a baptist minister.
We will not be able to teach that Paul Revere's secret message was delivered in the steeple of a church.
  We won't be able to teach about the Mormon beliefs leading to Utah's settlements, The Pilgrims will no longer be referred to as "on a spiritual pilgrimage".  We won't be able to teach student why Indian burial grounds are not to be disturbed. Essentially, this ruling is a call for atheism as a system of civic purity, rather than a sensible respect for the diversity of faiths that have shared the land.

David Van Risseghem

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