My name is Jesus. I live on the second floor
by Barry Friedman
Open the microwave door, put your head inside, and then slam repeatedly.
Blueprints for an ongoing renovation project appear to call for the creation of a chapel inside the Oklahoma Capitol.What is it with legislators in Oklahoma? Is every amendment in their copy of the Bill of Rights redacted but the Second?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievancesThat would be the First Amendment, if you're scoring at home--or at the state capitol, more to the point.
But that should settle it, right? Even a constitutional yutz should be able to tell that the "establishment of religion" clause means that those in charge of establishing things--like government officials and representatives--can't use public funds or government property for overtly religious purposes--say to perform a bris, give communion, or, one would imagine, give testimony and preach the gospel. So, who in their right mind--you should pardon the expression--would come up with such an arrogantly religious, unconstitutional, and batshit-crazy idea?
The chapel was Shannon’s idea, Griffin said.That would be T.W. Shannon, speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representative and GOP rising star, a rising star who loves this country and the people in it, as long as they're healthy and rich, a rising star who once said this.
“I don’t believe providing health insurance is a proper or efficient function of government.”Senior citizens, party of 40.3-million, your table's ready.
Really, though, who needs medicine, who needs insurance, who needs government when you've got God right upstairs ... literally?
The blueprints indicate the chapel would be on the second floor in space vacated by the Oklahoma Supreme Court and under control by the House of Representatives.Vacated by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Symbolism, line one.
Isn't the speaker concerned that having a chapel on the second (Lewis Black delivery here) fucking floor of the House of Representatives might have the appearance of endorsing a state religion?
Brady Henderson, ACLU of Oklahoma legal director, called the chapel idea suspect.Ya think?
“I think it is always concerning when you see the very concept of taking space out of a public building that is the seat of government and saying that space needs to be used for a religious purpose,” Henderson said.Not to put too fine a parousia on this, but this is a distinctly Christian purpose--it's about the religious convenience, arrogance, and showmanship of state legislators. God forbid they go thirty-five minutes without asking for divine guidance on paving Interstate 44 or allocating money for a wastewater treatment facility; God forbid they stop trotting out their faith like thoroughbreds being brought in for the third race at Santa Anita.
God forbid they go pray, you know, in their own churches.
And it's not like they don't have enough places and time to do it now when they're at work.
Senate Minority Leader Sean Burrage also noted that legislative sessions begin with prayer, Bible studies are held in the Senate lounge and members quote scripture and cite religious beliefs.For the love of an efficiency expert, they begin with prayer, they have bible study, they quote it during session. And even with all that prayer, they still come up with legislative dreck like this and this and this and this. Maybe the problem is we have too much prayer in government. A couple of agnostic representatives on a science subcommittee and no telling what you can accomplish.
Still ... why not one more piece of insane legislation that will be ruled unconstitutional, cost Oklahoma taxpayers millions of dollars, and give our attorney general another reason to get on FOX?
It's just a hope, anyway, for those who want this chapel. They're not unlike die-hard New York Jets fans (yes, there are a few) who still petition Bloomberg for their own stadium.
“If we are able to create a chapel, we would love to. But we are not going to do anything that is not constitutional.”Of course not. You and your caucus have too much respect for federal law.
One bill would make it a felony to enforce the new federal health care law, punishable by up to five years in prison. Another prohibits a physician from asking a patient about firearms. Yet another is designed to curb the possible influence of the United Nations in local government.Just in case, though, something happens to the chapel idea and God doesn't get the space, the speaker still has plans to rent it out.
The room also could be used for storage or another purpose.