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First Amendment Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 1, June 2001

The Newsletter of the Oklahoma Chapter of Americans United

Legislative Watch

J.C. Watts (R-OK) and Tony Hall (D-OH) have introduced a “Community Solutions Act” (H.R. 7) to expand “charitable choice” and government funded religious social services.  The bill has been criticized for broadening government-funded employment discrimination, for allowing proselytization of people seeking help, for authorizing new law suits against state and local governments and for involving churches in an elaborate legal and monetary shell game.  We encourage members to call and write their congressmen and oppose this bill.

A number of bills were introduced in the last session of the Oklahoma State legislature that would authorize diverting government funds from existing social services run by professionals to religiously based social services run by amateurs and volunteers.  We expect such legislation to be brought up again in special session this summer.  

Presentations at the Faithlinks conferences made it clear that the covenant relation between the Department of Human Services (DHS), the office of Faith Based Liaison and the Cornerstone Assistance Networks will consummate in a very ill-advised marriage.  Agencies who thought the contracts for “Intermediary Organization” were inadequate for the task, did not realize that the initial contract was just an engagement ring.  The wedding will take place when the State awards its faith-based dowry to the “Intermediary Organization.”  The “Intermediary” will then control the state’s funds and sub-contract work out to favored churches and religious organizations.  

We encourage all members to call and write their state legislators and oppose this ill-advised and unconstitutional union of church and state.                                   


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"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

Copyright © 2003 Americans United -- Oklahoma Chapter  P.O. Box 892747 Oklahoma City, OK 73189.   Phone and Fax:  405-632-0037   Send mail to jhuff@auok.org with questions about the Oklahoma Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State


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