OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A national group is seeking volunteers to lobby Oklahoma lawmakers to oppose religiously based measures, which have been on the increase since Republicans gained control of the Legislature four years ago.
"Some of the most egregious examples of attempts to insert religion into government are happening at the state level," said Lauren Anderson Youngblood, spokeswoman for the Secular Coalition for America. "We know that Oklahoma has had some bills that we would consider to be unacceptable."
The nonprofit group was formed 10 years ago to lobby Congress, she said. Chapters have been formed in 38 states since June; Oklahoma is among the remaining 12 states where chapters are being started.
"The separation of religion and government was set up to protect nonreligious and religious people," she said. "This is really an issue that we see as nonpartisan, an issue that is one of the core founding principles of our country. It's not an issue that is hostile to religion. We're not telling people that they just don't have the right to their religious beliefs. We're not trying to convert anyone to atheism. We're just simply saying (religion) has no place in our government."