Legislative Preview Saturday
POSTED BY ARNOLD HAMILTON
If you believe [as does The Observer] that the separation of church and state is good for both, you’ll want to check out Saturday’s Oklahoma Legislature Preview, sponsored by the Oklahoma City Chapter of Americans United.
The event – titled “Separating Fact from Emotion” – is set for 10 a.m. to noon at the Belle Isle Library, 5501 N. Villa, in OKC.
Here’s AU’s news release on the fourth annual event:
Oklahoma City – The Oklahoma City Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church & State [OKAU] will hold its fourth annual Oklahoma Legislative Preview on Saturday, February 2, 2013. The event titled, “Separating Fact from Emotion” will be held at the Belle Isle Library, 10 a.m. to noon, 5501 N. Villa in Oklahoma City.
This event previews bills submitted by both Houses of the Oklahoma Legislature that could interfere with First Amendment freedom of religion and could encumber the rights of others. They will be presented for a civil open discussion.
An added feature this year will be a short explanation of how proposed bills become law in Oklahoma.
The first regular session of the 54th Oklahoma Legislature began on Jan. 14 with an organizational day in Oklahoma City for both the House and Senate. The Oklahoma Legislature officially convenes on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 at 12 p.m.
OKAU President John Loghry said, “Some of our legislators introduce bills that are based more on emotions than on facts. Our society is meant to have many voices, but much of this legislation seems to be aimed at keeping those that are not evangelical from having equal footing in the conversation. Part of our Legislative Preview will be aimed at pointing out the difference between fact and emotion.”
The Oklahoma City chapter, one of the most active chapters of American United for Separation of Church and State, arranges this event so that Oklahoma’s citizens can read and discuss upcoming issues and be ahead of the inevitable curves thrown by those who want to diminish a valuable freedom that is not observed in much of the world.
“OKAU will be previewing upcoming bills in the Oklahoma legislature that we feel threaten the vital First Amendment civil liberty of freedom of and from religion,” said Communications Chair James Nimmo.
In the spring of 2012, SB 1433 was passed, stating without scientific verification, that human life begins at conception. This emotional and religiously colored topic would have been on the November 2012 ballot, but the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously ruled the law unconstitutional in late October.
This year, HB 1029, or Personhood Act, would also begin legal rights at the moment of conception, again attempting to inject certain religious doctrines into a pregnant woman’s private life. The bill makes no allowance for the wide variety of health issues possible among women.
Nimmo asks, “How can any legislator say he or she knows what it’s like to walk in the shoes of any pregnant woman?”
Americans United for Separation of Church & State upholds the right of women to make their own health care choices without the unwanted intrusion of legislators practicing medicine without a license.
“Our legislators are very creative at introducing bills that contain little fact yet are fabricated with a great deal of emotion,” added Nimmo. “In our Legislative Preview we will point out the difference between the fact and the emotion.”
All interested citizens are encouraged to attend and participate with questions and comments. Light refreshments will be served.
Americans United [AU] is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans. AU represents over 70,000 individual members and 5,000 churches and other houses of worship nationwide.
For more information about the Oklahoma City Chapter of Americans for Separation of Church and State or the Legislative Preview event, please visit www.okau.org or www.au.org or contact James Nimmo at 405-843-3651.