Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond, a Republican, is being lauded as “Secularist of the Week” by the FFRF Action Fund, the lobbying arm of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, for his eloquent and outspoken opposition to the proposed unconstitutional Catholic charter school in his state. The Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and Diocese of Tulsa would run the Catholic school with state tax dollars.
Drummond notes that the sponsors of the proposed school declared that it will be “Catholic in teaching, Catholic in employment and Catholic in every way.” He warns, “Today, the school seeking approval happens to be a widely followed branch of the Christian faith. Tomorrow, the school may be sponsored by a mosque wishing to teach Sharia law, or some other faith that most Oklahomans would find deeply offensive.”
Drummond seems to be ready to sue over the school and wrote an eloquent op-ed, “Approval of Catholic charter school drove a stake in the heart of religious liberty,” published by The Oklahoman.
Drummond writes, “The framers of the U.S. Constitution and those who drafted Oklahoma’s Constitution clearly understood how best to protect religious freedom: by preventing the state from sponsoring any religion at all.”
“We truly salute Attorney General Drummond for his principled stance,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF Action Fund president. “Such proponents of the all-American concept of separation between state and church are becoming rare in government, particularly in more conservative states.”
Presenting quite a contrast to Drummond’s reasoned defense of a founding principle is this week’s “Theocrat of the Week,” a former school board member in Berkeley, S.C., who, for at least three straight weeks in a row, has disrupted school board meetings to lead a loud contingent in reciting the Lord’s Prayer during the moment of silence.
“We will not be silenced,” Ann Conder maintains, until the school board replaces its moment of silence with a Christian prayer. Conder said: “It is to invite God into our boardroom so that he will grant you righteous guidance as you make your decisions for our children and their education.”
FFRF has written the school board president urging him to use his authority to enforce the school board rules against such disruptions.
Conder, who appears to be affiliated with Moms for Liberty, epitomizes the disturbing Christian nationalist strategy of taking over school boards and local governmental meetings to ban books, impose Christianity, target LGBTQ students and otherwise inflict their dogmas by government fiat on others.
FFRF Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that develops and advocates for legislation, regulations and government programs to preserve the constitutional principle of separation between state and church. It also advocates for the rights and views of nonbelievers, endorses candidates for political office, and publicizes the views of elected officials concerning religious liberty issues.