This funding process is so clever that many of our most honorable representatives have no idea what their votes to fund "economic and community development," for example, end up financing. The twisting paper trail is hard to follow. The funding approval usually travels through the Departments of Commerce or Agriculture. Then it goes to one or more of the state's eleven sub-state planning districts before the money gets to "the special project."There's no doubt that secret slush funds of tax money for churches violates the original intent of James Madison, the author of our nation's Constitution and of the Bill of Rights. Madison wrote:
For one example in Oklahoma County: since 2003, state tax dollars totaling $109,000.00 have gone to benefit "special projects" of churches. Even more money has possibly gone to other churches throughout the state.
Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?There's also no doubt that secret slush funds of tax money for churches violates the crystal clear prohibitions of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma:
Section II-5: Public Money or Property -- Use for Sectarian Purposes.Undoubtedly, that is why the slush fund of tax money for churches was secret.
"No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such."
It's not a secret any more. I think it is time for an Oklahoma court to determine whether these "special projects" pass constitutional muster.