Monday, February 2, 2009

My letter to the governor

I have emailed the following to Governor Henry, and intend to follow-up with a hard copy by postal mail:
Dear Governor Henry,

I am writing to ask you to support the separation of church and state in Oklahoma. As I'm sure you are aware, there are bills in the legislature to give government backing to religious dogma.

HB 1001 would create a climate which would empower religious proselytising in Oklahoma's schools. You vetoed a bill last year which was a virtual carbon copy of this bill. You know how destructive this bill would be if enacted and it deserves your opposition again.

SB 320 specifically attacks the teaching of science in Oklahoma. The bill's sponsors seek to create the impression that important facts about the theory of evolution are being actively suppressed in Oklahoma's schools. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, and their true intentions are to smuggle in creationism under the guise of "intelligent design". This would transform science classes into forums promoting religious dogma. The place for teaching about religion is in religion classes, not science classes. A similar bill was signed into law last year in Louisiana, and already creationists are using the education administration in that state to subvert science classes by turning them into platforms for the promotion of religion. This bill is a profound threat to genuine academic freedom and the integrity of education in Oklahoma and deserves your strongest opposition.

SJR 8 would require prayer in Oklahoma's public schools. This bill is an assault on the rights of religious minorities in Oklahoma - some of which do not believe in praying in public and some of whom do not believe in religion at all. Please do not subject Oklahoma's students to the tyranny of the majority. There is nothing stopping those who choose to do so on their own from praying in Oklahoma's public schools. This bill is obviously directed at students who do not subscribe to the "majority belief" and choose - for whatever reason - not to pray in school. This bill is created by those who seek the power of government coercion to force their beliefs on others. School prayer has been ruled unconstitutional and any attempts to institute it would result in expensive lawsuits and the attendant publicity. This bill must be opposed - even a moment of silence is a dangerous concession that lets them get their foot in the door.

HJR 1009 would place Oklahoma on record as opposing the property rights of pregnant women. A woman's body is her property and she alone should have the final say on what happens to it. The Freedom of Choice Act recognizes this and its opponents know that. They are the enemies of Freedom. You stood up to them last year. I respectfully implore you to stand up to them again.

In your State of the State address you spoke of your desire to see Oklahoma become a leader in the field of biotechnology. This will not happen if Oklahoma's students are unable to receive the kind of education in science and biology that makes them attractive to biotechnology employers. Oklahoma's students will not receive that kind of education if the teaching of evolution is compromised by religion. This is why the separation of church and state is not simply some abstract idea, but something fundamental to Oklahoma's future. For the sake of Oklahoma's future, please help us uphold it.

Thank you,
Rob Abiera

No comments:

Post a Comment