OK-AU Spring Dialogue examines mixing religion and civil government
What: OKC Chapter of Americans United Spring Dialogue Event
When: Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: Raindrop Turkish House, 4444 N. Classen Blvd., Oklahoma City
Who: OKC Chapter of Americans United for Church & State and the public!
CITY - On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, the Oklahoma City Chapter of Americans
United for Separation of Church & State will host its 5th Annual
Spring Dialogue. The free event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Raindrop
Turkish House, 4444 N. Classen Blvd., in Oklahoma City, and will
conclude at 9 p.m.
The theme is; “Advantages and Disadvantages of Religious Involvement with Civil Government.”
AU chapter looks forward to presenting speakers who can provide an
interesting inside look at important issues concerning the First
Amendment support of separation of religious views from civil laws,”
said OK-AU Communications Chair, James NImmo.
"The United States supports hundreds, if not thousands, of religious
denominations. Not a single one of them can be allowed to gain
political strength over any other denomination."
event will be a four person moderated panel discussion that
will explore the advantages and disadvantages of mixing religion and
Panelists will include the Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee, Executive
Director Oklahoma Conference of Churches; Dr. Bilal Erturk, Assistant
Professor, Department of Finance at Oklahoma State University; Clayton
Flesher, co-founder of Odd Oklahoma; and James Nimmo, OK-AU
Chas Stewart, OK-AU Chapter Secretary will be the event moderator.
Tabbernee will speak on capital punishment. The death penalty
is carried out by the State but opposed by many religious groups,
including the Oklahoma Conference of Churches.
"The Death Penalty is literally 'a matter of life and death,'" Tabbernee
said. "Like all such matters, people have strongly held opinions on
the subject. Opinions influenced by their religious beliefs and
Tabbernee has extensive experience in ecumenical and interfaith
relations, including more than 20 years as a member of the World Council
of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order.
volunteer for the Raindrop Turkish House, Dr. Ertuck was born in
Istanbul, Turkey, and is a finance faculty member at the Spears School
of Business, at OSU.
“The topic of my talk will be ‘Secularism: Lessons learned from the
Turkish experience,” said Ertuck. “My talk will be generally center
around experiences of the idea of separation of church/mosque and state
Flesher, a contributing writer for OKC.net
and the website Odd Oklahoma, is the Education Chair for the Oklahoma
Atheists group. He will look at both the pragmatic and principled
reasons for supporting a strong separation.
"I'll talk about what role separation has had in keeping religion robust
in the US while keeping religious violence relatively low,” said
James Nimmo will focus on the harm and support religious belief brings to marriage equality in the United States.
“I am convinced that the best way to make progress politically is
through non-partisan state and national organizations,” said Nimmo.
A question and answer period will be held following the panel discussion. Turkish refreshments will be served.
Hosting the event, the Raindrop Turkish House promotes education about
the culture and history of Turkish life. The event is open to the public
with free street parking available.
citizens who support or want to know more about the importance of the
First Amendment and the wall of separation between religious dogma and
civil laws are encouraged to attend.
Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in
Washington, D.C., founded in 1947. The organization educates Americans
about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding
Raindrop Turkish HousePhone:
For more information about the Oklahoma City Chapter of Americans for
Separation of Church & State or the Spring Dialogue event, please
or contact James Nimmo at 405-843-3651
4444 N. Classen