By The Oklahoman Editorial Board
AMONG the proposals Oklahomans will consider in November is State Question 790, which would repeal Article II, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution. That provision declares, “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 benefit of “any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.”
Opponents of SQ 790 contend that Article II, Section 5 simply requires church-state separation. Not true.
In reality, Article II, Section 5 is an embarrassing relic of 19th-century anti-Catholic bigotry. It fuels abusive lawsuits targeting programs that are perfectly legal under the U.S. Constitution. It has been employed to drive people of faith from the public sphere simply because they are people of faith.
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