Politics - News Analysis

GOP Lawmaker Wants to Make the ‘Holy Bible’ Oklahoma’s Official State Book

It is hard to remember when the average school kid starts to learn about the principles the Founding Fathers used when establishing the country, but there’s no question that among those first lessons was that this country was to be a haven where there would be no overlap between any religion and government, none.

Citizens were free to practice their own religion, subject to otherwise normal laws. But the government would not “have” a religion.

*Granted, until the 14th Amendment, the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government, but every state (of which we know) followed suit, at least initially, within their own state constitutions.

The Founding Fathers saw the MAGAs (and many other movements) coming from centuries away and did all they could to preclude anything like what is happening in Oklahoma. It looks as though it’s almost done as an “F-You, we’ll do what we want” move, that Trump has perfected. (Do other states have an official book?  Or is this just another “F-You” element of the story?)

According to Tulsa CBS:

A Republican Oklahoma representative, and former Christian Bible bookstore owner, has filed a bill that would make the Holy Bible the state’s official book. House Bill 3890 was crafted by Rep. Tammy Townley, R-Ardmore. The bill will be taken up for consideration by Oklahoma State Legislators on Monday, Feb. 7. If passed, the Holy Bible would become the state’s official book starting Nov. 1, 2022.  Lawmakers in Tennessee and Texas have filed similar bills over the last few years.

Tulsa’s ABC News affiliate reports:

“We are people of great faith,” Townley said in a press release. “The Holy Bible is an integral part of numerous faiths and is deeply important to many Oklahomans. Even when we don’t always agree with each other, we always know that we have a foundation higher than politics that we can rely on to remain unshakeable when times are tough.” Oklahoma does not currently have a state book.

Who is “we”? One’s spiritual life is inherently private. and many people do not look to the Bible for support. Indeed, for some people, it is a source of pain (some of our LGBTQ friends, for example, grew up in environments where that book made them evil people).

In a nation where it is supposed to be unconstitutional to say a prayer before a high school football game (Newsflash, down south, they do anyway), it is hard to imagine this being Constitutional or even that important, other than a “Because we can” move. It will take a federal judge to say; “no, you cannot.”

Oklahoma also happens to be the home of many Native Americans, many of whom live deeply spiritual lives that have nothing to do with the Bible.

So we ask again, who is “we”? Because some of “us” know why the Founding Fathers believed this to be so fundamentally important.

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[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak

meet the author

Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He now enjoys life as a single dad raising a ridiculously-loved young girl on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He is very much the dreamy mystic, a day without learning is a day not lived. He is passionate about his flower pots and studies philosophical science, religion, and non-mathematical principles of theoretical physics. Dogs, pizza, and love are proof that God exists. "Above all else, love one another."

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