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Attorney General Drummond will personally argue pivotal religious liberty case tomorrow

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 1, 2024) – Attorney General Gentner Drummond will personally argue before the Oklahoma Supreme Court tomorrow in the lawsuit against members of the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board concerning their June 2023 unconstitutional approval of what would be the nation’s first taxpayer-funded, state-sponsored religious public charter school.

Drummond has been steadfast in his opposition to taxpayer-funded religion. He has said that U.S. Supreme Court precedent requires equal treatment of religions, which means if Oklahoma funds a Catholic charter school like St. Isidore of Seville Virtual Catholic Charter School, then the state would also be forced to fund a radical Islamic charter school and a Scientology school.

“Today, Oklahomans are being compelled to fund Catholicism. Because of the legal precedent created by the Board’s actions, tomorrow we may be forced to fund radical Muslim teachings like Sharia law,” Drummond said upon filing the lawsuit last October.

Drummond notes that very scenario has played out in the Iowa state capitol building, where the display of a Christian nativity scene forced the government to also display a Satanic homage to the pagan god Baphomet.

“That is the direction we are heading, and it is wrong on every level,” said Drummond. “I for one do not want my tax dollars funding the teaching of radical Sharia law or the blasphemous tenets of the Church of Satan.”

The Attorney General has taken criticism from Gov. Kevin Stitt on the issue. Unlike Drummond, Gov. Stitt has stated he is supportive of a taxpayer-funded Muslim charter school. 

“The Governor of course is free to support the establishment and funding of a Muslim charter school if he wants, but as a committed Christian, I take deep offense to that position,” said Drummond. “I am doing everything in my power to protect our tax dollars and preserve our religious liberty.”

Despite counsel from the Attorney General that the proposed St. Isidore of Seville charter school would violate the state constitution, board members voted 3-2 to approve the application by the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa. Drummond filed the lawsuit in October, noting the state Constitution expressly prohibits “sectarian control” of public schools. The litigation also argues that St. Isidore, which supporters have vowed would be “Catholic in every way,” impinges on religious liberty by violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

Drummond will personally present his case before all nine justices at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the state Capitol building. The hearing will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWrIgT7dTsg