blunt essays with sharp points
Nov 5, 2010 5:51 PM–Oops! The Oklahoma law that Oklahoma voters just approved, banning Islamic law from their courts, could ban Biblical law also. #UnintendedConsequences
The people of Oklahoma amended their Constitution by adopting State Question No. 755, Legis. Ref. No. 355, by a vote of 70%‒30% at the November 2, 2010 election.
They have forbidden their courts to
look to the legal precepts of
other nations or cultures when deciding cases.
Specifically, the courts shall not
consider international law or Sharia Law.
There is an irony here.
The amendment, legally known as the “Save Our State Amendment”, strongly appealed to the
Christian majority of the people of Oklahoma because of its rejection of Sharia Law. The
Attorney General of Oklahoma described Sharia Law on the State Question as
Islamic law […] based on two
principal sources, the Koran and the teaching of Mohammed.
But Dr. Joseph Thai, a University of Oklahoma law professor, pointed out that the new law
could also forbid their courts to consider Biblical law:
The Ten Commandments, of course,
is international law. It did not originate in Oklahoma or the United States. (Quoted in
So Oklahomans who would like to see Biblical law established in their state may have created a new obstacle for themselves. And, by doing so, arguably they have violated Biblical law:
You will not curse the dumb or put an obstacle in the way of the blind, but will fear your God. I am Yahweh.
(Leviticus 19:14, quoted from the New Jerusalem Bible.)
I guess it’s fortunate for them that they cannot be prosecuted for it in their state courts.
Here is the old and new text of Okla. Const. Art. 7 § 1 from the State Question:
Section 1. The judicial power of this State shall be vested in Senate, sitting as a Court of Impeachment, a Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Court on the Judiciary, the
State IndustrialCourt, the Court of Bank Review, the Court of Tax Review, and such intermediate appellate courts as may be provided by statute, District Courts, and such Boards, Agencies and Commissions created by the Constitution or established by statute as exercise adjudicative authority or render decisions in individual proceedings. Provided that the Court of Criminal Appeals, the State Industrial Court, the Court of Bank Review and the Court of Tax Review and such Boards, Agencies and Commissions as have been established by statute shall continue in effect, subject to the power of the Legislature to change or abolish said Courts, Boards, Agencies, or Commissions. Municipal Courts in cities or incorporated towns shall continue in effect and shall be subject to creation, abolition or alteration by the Legislature by general laws, but shall be limited in jurisdiction to criminal and traffic proceedings arising out of infractions of the provisions of ordinances of cities and towns or of duly adopted regulations authorized by such ordinances.
Update Nov 8, 2010
A friend wrote to ask: “This passed by a wide margin—who’s to say that the ban on biblical law, ten commandments, etc. was unintentional?”
Oklahoma’s Department of Libraries says there is very little record of legislative intent. The legislature does not publish floor debate, committee reports, minutes, or hearings. (source)
But the two primary authors have said that they meant to ban Sharia law. And based on their voting records and other activities, I cannot believe that they meant to ban Biblical law. In fact I am sure they want just the opposite.
Rep. Rex Duncan (R) said that foreign influence has undermined the legal systems of other
democratic states, specifically Great Britain and Michigan. He said the amendment
will constitute a pre-emptive strike against Sharia law coming to Oklahoma. (source) Rep. Duncan has reportedly
voted yes on bills requiring the Ten Commandments be posted at the entrance to the state
Sen. Anthony Sykes (R) stated that
Sharia law coming to the U.S. is a scary concept. Hopefully the passage of this
constitutional amendment will prevent it in Oklahoma. (source) Not long ago, Sen. Sykes was a featured participant at a “Reclaiming Oklahoma
for Christ” event. The mission statement of this organization is
to educate our pastors,
legislators, educators, students and all citizens as to the truth about America’s Christian
Heritage and the role of fundamental, Biblical Christianity in the establishment and
function of our legal, legislative and educational systems; and to work
towards the successful reestablishment of these values in our society today. (source)
Labels: Anthony Sykes, Bible, Christian, Dr. Joseph Thai, law, Leviticus, Mohammed, Oklahoma, Qur'an, Reclaiming Oklahoma For Christ, Rex Duncan, Sharia, Ten Commandments, unintended consequences, Yahweh
March 07, 2011 11:36 PM–Just as Jewish law, Sharia is another form of legalism. And like before Biblical Christianity will win over legalism again, just as it did 2,000 years ago.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes they fool you by walking upright.
What part of “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” don’t you understand?
Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life. —Terry Pratchett
Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig. —Robert Heinlein
Do not ask why the past was better than the present, for this is not a question prompted by wisdom. —Ecclesiastes 7:10
Power lines abruptly stopped causing cancer in 1997 after the U.S. National Cancer Institute conducted a better study. —Robert Parks
Встретимся под столом! (Vstretimsja pod stolom: To meeting you under the table!)
The more you cry, the less you’ll pee.
Relish the love of a good woman.
It’ll never get better if you keep picking at it. —advice from Judge “Maximum” Bob Gibbs