FFRF Sends Letter to Oklahoma House of Worship

Remember when Oklahoma’s Rep. George Faught invited Pastor Bill Ledbetter of Fairview Baptist Church to speak to the House of Representatives?

It happened a couple of weeks ago. In case you missed it, here’s the video and my take on it:

Now, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a letter (PDF) to Speaker of the House Kris Steele urging him to discontinue the practice of praying to open House sessions and inviting pastors to deliver “Chaplain of the week” remarks.

If Steele doesn’t respond appropriately, there’s the threat of a lawsuit that could cost Oklahoma taxpayers quite a bit of money.

It’s unnecessary. Just put a stop to the practice and leave the prayers in church where they belong.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Brian O’Neil

    Every time someone says the Constitution is rooted in Christianity, my brain explodes a little. The document makes no mention whatsoever of Christ or Christianity, and the only two mentions of religion at all are prohibitions against its interference in government. Such willful and deliberate misdirection is disgusting and people’s blind acceptance of such drivel is disheartening.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003293001320 Diana Winters

    Just imagine what happens in church these days. No wonder those people stay dumb.

  • Beau McElhattan

    My OK house representative, Glen Mulready, received an email from me asking him to take action against this and to have it stop.  He refused and cited that the “majority” of Oklahomans are for this type of behavior.
    Thanks for representing all of us, Rep. Mulready.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah because if lots of people like it, that makes it legal and not a waste of tax dollars.

      • Beau McElhattan

        Yep, that’s pretty much the mentality, legalities and the Constitution be gone.

    • Mairianna

      Well, ya know, in ‘Merica, the majority rules!  

  • Alex

     So, when 5% say they are atheists, it doesn’t matter, it’s just 5%. When 11% say they are not religious, it doesn’t matter; after all, 11% can be neglected. The same goes for 13% who are not christian. So, you put non-religious and non-christian religious folk together and get almost a quarter of the whole population, does it still not matter?… How about we just go ahead and discount the christian majority instead, thus continuing this wonderful trend?

    • http://www.facebook.com/cburschka Christoph Burschka

      “When 11% say they are not religious, it doesn’t matter; after all, 11%
      can be neglected. The same goes for 13% who are not christian. So, you
      put non-religious and non-christian religious folk together and get
      almost a quarter of the whole population,”

      The way they said it the 13% “non-Christian” should include the 11%, since they didn’t say “other faiths”. I’m having trouble crediting a tally of only 2% Muslim+Jewish+other, though, so your interpretation is more plausible.

      • Alex

         I thought about that, but that much fewer “others” than “nones”? In other words, what you said.

        Also, add to that all those christians who don’t necessarily condone the practice (they are out there, I promise), and we have an interesting statistic.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          AU would actually be my go-to org for this.

  • Rbray18

    yeah this being Oklahoma and all the money this state has wasted on repealing “Obamacare” and various other stupid things i somehow doubt they wont draw this out as long as possible.

  • Chance – Atheist from Oklahoma

    With all due respect, this will only energize the fundamentalists in Oklahoma more. This is one of the most religious states in the Union. As for costing the taxpayer’s money for a possible court challenge, that doesn’t matter either. With the amount of laws we have tied up in court right now, what’s another one going to hurt?

    • Heintje

      Unfortunately, FFRF (and we) cannot afford to let this one slide either. It will only embolden them towards further - and, I’d wager, worse – violation of the Constitution. 

  • PhilC

    Wow,  I consider myself a good US citizen.  I gave 14 years of my life in service of that country at less than favorable wages and conditions.  It was service to the nation & its citizens not their religion.  Would have laid my life on the line regardless of your religion.  To to me he is insulting and I do support FFR.  I wonder why he is even there, this is shocking.

    Another point is that I am here in the Philippines and they are taught they are the one country blessed by God so perhaps he needs to visit other nations.  This is not a good direction to be headed.  Let him come here and see what happens when you let the Church run a nation.

    Problems he mentions are brought on by the behaviour of people like him.  I sat through a government meeting the other day started by a prayer (very manupulative prayer) and the national anthem.  In my mind I was saying “so glad this doesn’t happen in the USA”, now I’m worried it might.

    We had looked forward to retiring to the USA.  I’m not sure we’d be comfortable there anymore.

  • T-Rex

    It’s time to wall off the Bible belt and let them be the theocracy they desire so badly. Leave everything west of the Rockies and everything along the east coast, including Florida, to the rational humans that wish to remain free. (I live in Florida and it’s not that bad along the coasts, just the interior and pan handle.)


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