Oklahoma just may be the reddest of all red states. In the last three general elections, all 77 of Oklahoma's counties voted for the Republican presidential candidate. Mitt Romney won the state by a 67-33% margin over Obama last November. The politically conservative state voted five U.S. House Representatives and 2 U.S. Senators to Congress.......all seven are Republicans.
The state legislature of Oklahoma consists of 72 Republicans and 29 Democrats in the House and 36 Republicans and 12 Democrats in the state Senate. Clearly, the state should not be confused with a progressive state.
In the midterm election of 2010, Oklahoma voters, by a vote count of 70-30%, passed a new amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution banning Sharia law from being appealed to in any state judicial ruling. Oklahoma voters did so in spite of the fact that the 1st amendment to the Constitution prohibits our secular form of governance from "establishing religion." You might remember the inexplicable anger and rage from some conservatives on the national political "news" front over the terrible threat to the homeland from Muslim law, even though the "threat" would apparently be coming from a whopping .6% of our nation's total population.
Immediately following the 2010 election, a District Court judge issued a restraining order preventing the anti-Sharia state law from going into effect. On Thursday of this week, the same judge issued a ruling that the state's anti-Sharia amendment was unconstitutional, writing.....
"....the amendment’s references to Sharia, or Islamic law, violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution."
""Having reviewed the numerous statements by the legislators who authored the amendment, it is abundantly clear that the primary purpose of the amendment was to specifically target and outlaw Sharia law and to act as a preemptive strike against Sharia law to protect Oklahoma from a perceived 'threat' of Sharia law being utilized in Oklahoma courts," she ruled.
ACLU comments following the ruling.....
"Throughout the case, the state couldn't present even a shred of evidence to justify this discriminatory, unnecessary measure," Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said in a statement.
"This law unfairly singled out one faith and one faith only," said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. "This amendment was nothing more than a solution in search of a problem. We're thrilled that it has been struck down."
"solution in search of a problem". Like dozens of state voter ID laws in search of a voter-fraud problem.
The last few years of anti-Sharia hysteria, cranked to eleven by angry conservatives and put on display in a most embarrassing national airing over whether a Community Islamic Center could be built anywhere in the vicinity of Ground Zero, has demonstrated how quickly and easily many in America would revert to persecuting or targeting minorities in direct contradiction of our national legal contract.
But who is responsible for convincing 70% of Oklahoma voters that a non-existent threat was an existential threat which needed pre-empting?
The Reverend suggests that the responsibility for this ugly embarrassment rests at the feet of national conservative media. While many media outlets helped out in the fear-spreading, the Fox News Network, more than all other networks combined, pushed the anti-Muslim fear.
Anti-Sharia and anti-Muslim sentiment still flows freely through Fox often packaged with scary, even though delusional, warnings over a coming world Islamic Caliphate which allegedly would enslave the entire global population under Islamic Sharia law. Fox anchors, to this very day, continue to ominously warn about Sharia and Caliphate dangers, continually stirring the innate prejudices of conservative audiences with more fear. Sean Hannity, thankfully being booted from both his teevee and radio show, repeated those very claims again yesterday on his hate-radio program.
If I didn't know better.....or maybe I do......I might think that Fox was purposely trying to divide Americans one against another by deceiving gullible conservative Americans into a frenzy not justified by the facts.
But the only reason I can think of for why Fox, or others, would work to keep Americans divided over truth and facts...and particularly over a "solution in search of a problem"....like banning Sharia law or passing voter ID "vote fraud" laws.....is to keep Americans from uniting in electoral action against our monied overlords.
As long as Americans are busy arguing and disagreeing over delusional or non-existent threats......Americans cannot focus and unite to fight the privileged, monied few who dictate all of our national policies.
An electorate divided against itself over contrived foolishness is a powerless electorate.
Maybe that's been the plan all along?
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