Comments on 2016 Election Results & Tulsa Veterans Parade Discrimination

Dear Tulsa Community,

It is with very mixed emotions that I write this letter. One part of me is saddened by the wins of certain groups and the loss by others. My heart is broken for so many… so many. The one light at in the mix though is the voting down of Oklahoma State Question 790 that would have changed the language of our local constitution to allow public land and/or money to be used for religious purposes. The real purpose of this bill was to try and get the 10 Commandments Monument back at the capital.

The results were as close, with 42.8% being for the measure and 57.1% against it. According to the OK.gov website, 1,414,923 people voted on this measure, with 808,248 being the final number making it stick. Considering we have close to 2 million registered voters in this state, the fact that this measure was knocked by almost half of them is inspiring, but too close.

Our job now as people of various faiths and traditions is to stand for the separation of church and state. We need to remind our friends, family, co-workers, and others of the importance of this separation, but to do it in a loving and discerning way.

We were also sadden to hear today of the dismissal of the Council for American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) proposal to have a float in the Tulsa Veterans Day Parade this Friday.

Steve Porter (president of the Greater Tulsa Veterans Organizations Association) said, “CAIR-Oklahoma did not meet the new criteria because it is a political advocacy group and has not been involved in veterans affairs in eastern Oklahoma.” (Tulsa World) If this is true, are all the groups participating being judged on this criteria? Do all the bands playing have to prove any work they have done for veterans? We are not seeking any special treatment, just full equality like everyone else.

Showing our support as an interfaith community in this regard is only beginning. We must as an interfaith community, continue to stand firm with our social justice movements across this country and then celebrate the diversity of us all.

We at TIA stand with our Muslim friends and family during this time. We offer our support, or respect and our resources to the Muslim community of Oklahoma and will constantly try to show the love that we all are called on by our God of many names to show to others.

If you would like to stand with us, please join us on Facebook– Tulsa Interfaith Alliance and at www.tulsainterfaithalliance.org and join our efforts to help make Tulsa a more inclusive place.

 

Peace,

Rev. Evan Taylor

And the board of the Tulsa Interfaith Alliance

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