Serving us well
“State constitution could stand a good scrubbing” (Our Views, Feb. 21) attacks Article II Section 5 of the state constitution as embarrassing, bigoted, retrograde and on a par with the old Jim Crow laws. Wrong. The provision, as the editorial correctly states, declares that no public money or property shall be provided directly or indirectly for the benefit of any sect, church, denomination or system of religion. The language clearly spells out the meaning of the first words of the First Amendment to the federal Constitution: “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion ...”
The editorial ignores that language and speaks only of the second or “free exercise” clause. Article II Section 5 has served this state well for 57 years. For example, it was cited repeatedly in the successful effort to end the practice in Edmond of using city funds to pay for religious statues. Two years ago, voters in Florida wisely rejected the repeal of an identical constitutional amendment. There will always be those who would pry open the public purse to pursue their private religious purposes. Our federal and state constitutions have served us well in frustrating those efforts.
Ernie Schultz, Edmond