State representative wants to repeal part of Constitution

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- The saga continues around the Ten Commandments monument at our state’s capitol.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled last week that the monument must be removed from the capitol grounds.

Now, a state legislator has filed a resolution that would remove the section of the Oklahoma constitution that the judges based their decision on.

It basically says no money or property can be given to a system of religion.

“It’s clear that this is like a malignant tumor.  It just needs to be cut out from our state constitution,” said Rep. John Paul Jordan (R) Yukon.

Rep. Jordan calls Article II, Section 5, toxic and says if our state supreme court used it to remove the Ten Commandments monument, even more serious things could happen.

He says artwork in the state capitol with angels and crosses could be forced to come down, residents on state funded medical plans couldn’t get care at hospitals like Baptist and St. Anthony; even the possibility that a burning church could not be rescued.

“Because we fund some of our fire departments through state funding, that the police and fire teams could not put out the fire,” said Rep. Jordan.

“And I think the sky is going to fall too. That’s pretty  much what we’re seeing here,” said Brady Henderson with the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma.

Henderson says lawmakers are using scare tactics and that this particular section of our constitution doesn’t say the state can’t do business with religion, just that they can’t pick favorites.

“The government can’t say, you know what, you’re Baptist, you’re church of Christ; I like you better.  That’s really what it’s all about,” said Henderson.

Henderson calls repealing this section “stupid” and says we would be taking out a constitutional provision that has been able to stand the test of time for more than a century.

“A constitution’s not something you play with like a toy.  A constitution’s a guiding document for people. It’s incredibly important,” said Henderson.

“This thing is just so negative and harmful to the people of our state,” said Rep. Jordan.

Rep. Jordan says the section needs to go, and he ultimately wants the people of Oklahoma to make the decision.

The resolution would have to pass through the legislature before ever going to a vote of the people.

If it does, it will go on the ballot as a state question in November 2016.

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