As shocking as it may seem, religious practice is mandated by
Under the Oklahoma statutes, the only statutory defense against a charge of Sabbath Breaking is to prove that you observe another day of the week as the Sabbath and practice religion observances on that day.
Don't believe it? Please read on and become enlightened.
The 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution address multiple issues, one being the issue of religious freedom. This amendment has traditionally been used as the basis of the idea of separation of church and state.
What follows demonstrates that at least in the state of Oklahoma there is no real separation of church and state as several Oklahoma statutes are clearly intended to enhance the status of religion, particularly the Christian religion at the expense of all others and the rights of the citizens of this state.
Here are a few of the Oklahoma statutes pertaining to religious matters and one that actually *MANDATES* the practice of religion in Oklahoma as the sole means of defense to an accusation of sabbath breaking.
Let the horrid truth be known!
21-903 clearly shows that blasphemy is a crime under Oklahoma statutes. The statute says it's a crime, therefore it's a crime. There's no room for debate on that. Whether this law is constitutional is another matter.
While 21-901 defines blasphemy in such a manner it clearly violates the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the state legislature attempted to fix it via 21-902 which at first glance may appear to do so. However, look closely at 21-902. What we see is unheard of in the American justice system where the *defendant* is required to prove his or her innocence beyond reasonable doubt! This as opposed to the more traditional scenario where the state must prove *guilt* beyond a reasonable doubt. There is a night and day difference in the two!
While the penalty for profane searing is minor, what's most noteworthy of this law is that it prohibits only that swearing using words of the Christian religion and offers no protection at all to the sensibilities of followers of any religion other than Christianity. Also noteworthy is the total disregard this law holds for the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Oh well, that's never gotten in the way of religious law in Oklahoma. Don't believe it, read on and be amazed...
1. Servile labor, except works of necessity or charity.
2. Trades, manufactures, and mechanical employment.
3. All horse racing or gaming except as authorized by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Act.
4. All manner of public selling, or offering or exposing for sale publicly, of any commodities, except that meats, bread, fish, and all other foods may be sold at any time, and except that food and drink may be sold to be eaten and drank upon the premises where sold, and drugs, medicines, milk, ice, and surgical appliances and burial appliances and all other necessities may be sold at any time of the day.
But what about affording the same protection to those religions that observe Saturday as the sabbath? Nope, no deal. They are own their own, not protection what so ever.
There are so many flaws in the statutes they should be used to demonstrate the absurdity of permitting any religious issues to be used in enacting legislation. What I find fascinating is the fact that section 21-907 defines the actions that are enumerated in 21-908 to be useless and serious interruptions. Without many of these useless and serious interruptions society would grind to a halt from 12:00 am Sunday through 12:00 am Monday.
The escape clause in 21-908.1 which states except works of necessity or charity does not in the slightest suggest what is necessary nor does it define an agency of government that is to make that determination. In other words: there's exceptions, we just don't know what they are!. Yeah, sure... Only in Oklahoma folks.
Also notice that horse racing is prohibited on the sabbath, unless it's approved by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission. Can we say, uh, huh? If you've got money you got clout, even on the sabbath, I guess.
Does the name DeBartelo ring any bells?
What many people do not realize, 21-908 *DOES NOT* contain an exemption for garage sales, flea markets or even most of the stores at your favorite mall. The most offensive aspect of this law however is contained in 21-909. Re-read it closely.
What it says is that you can get away with servile labor on Sunday, *PROVIDED* that you practiced religion on another day of the week.
Yep, that's what it says. In other words if you practice no religious activities what so ever, there is no escape clause for performing servile labor on a Sunday. You are out of luck, defenseless according to this law.
A legislated requirement to practice religion is an affront to the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and guess what, it's illegal under Oklahoma law, see 21-913 below, which forbids by means of threats or violence to compel any person to adopt, practice or profess any particular form of religious belief. The threat of prosecution for a violation of Oklahoma Statute 21-908, with the *only* defense being under 21-909, is a violation of 21-913.
Evidently in Oklahoma no one can force you to subscribe to any *particular* religious belief, however as was shown above it does compel you to subscribe to *some* religious belief.
And note the language of 21-913 threats or violence, it DOES NOT SAY threats of violence therefore ANY THREAT, including the perceived threat of arrest could be arguably applied under the provisions of 21-908. Therefore the very existence of 21-908 is at odds with 21-913.
1. Uttering any profane discourse, committing any rude or indecent act, or making any unnecessary noise, either within the place where such meeting is held, or so near it as to disturb the order and solemnity of the meeting.
2. Exhibiting, within one (1) mile, any shows or plays without a license by the proper authority.
3. Engaging in, or aiding or promoting within the like distance, any racing of animals or gaming of any description.
4. Obstructing in any manner, without authority of law, within the like distance, the free passage along any highway to the place of such meeting.
It must be nice to be protected by law from rudeness, how do churches rate such special treatment in Oklahoma and better yet, why don't the rest of us?
The following two sections are the blue law for auto sales in Oklahoma. It's quite discriminatory, but who ever believed that Oklahoma law was otherwise, where religion is concerned.
No person, firm or corporation, whether owner, proprietor, agent or employee, shall keep open, operate or assist in keeping open or operating any place or premises or residences whether open or closed, for the purpose of selling, bartering, or exchanging, or offering for sale, barter, or exchange, any motor vehicle or motor vehicles, whether new, used or second hand, on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, except as otherwise provided in this section; and provided, however, that this act shall not apply to the opening of an establishment or place of business on the said first day of the week for other purposes, such as the sale of petroleum products, tires, automobile accessories, or for the purpose of operating and conducting a motor vehicle repair shop, or for the purpose of supplying such services as towing or wrecking. Antique, classic, or special interest automobiles sold, bartered, auctioned, or exchanged by any person, firm, or corporation are exempt from the provisions of this section.
Notice that the provisions of this law apply only to Sunday, the sabbath for most Christian religions. It *does not* provide the same protection to the sabbath of those religions that observe another day as the sabbath. Double standard? Sure, you bet!
To see the full implications consider the following scenario:
Two neighbors, one of the Baptist faith and one of the Jewish faith. On Friday night both have their cars stolen. Both are left without transportation to the store, work or church.
Since Saturday is the Sabbath for the Jewish faith, that precludes shopping for and purchasing a replacement vehicle on Saturday. Those of the Baptist faith are of course free to spend Saturday searching at their leisure for a replacement vehicle since it is not their sabbath.
When Sunday arrives, those of the Baptist faith are in church, but not those of the Jewish faith. However, since Oklahoma law specifies that all car lots must be closed on Sunday there is no opportunity for those of the Jewish faith to exercise their rights in the manner of the Baptist. They are discriminated against on the basis of religion.
As an aside...
Notice also, that antique, classic or special interest automobiles exempt from the blue laws. Do the words Leake Car Auction ring any bells? This Just goes to show that *if* you are rich, you can get laws tailored to your own special needs, it seems.
Evidently the Oklahoma legislature in its wisdom has determined that those of the Jewish, Seventh Day Adventist and other beliefs that observe the sabbath on Saturday and wishing to purchase an automobile over the course of a weekend should buy a 57 Chevy!
Preferably at the Leake Car Auction, probably. Which by the way is held over the course of one weekend each year at Expo Square in Tulsa for those of you needing a vehicle on a Sunday.