12:22 AM EST on November 8, 2010
If there is one fact about the legal system that even (perhaps, especially) the most uneducated Oklahoman wants me to know, it is that every law is based upon the Christian bible. What they mean is the "Ten Commandments" which were given to ancient Isreali leader Moses at the peak of Mt. Sinai after God etched the guidelines on stone with his finger. So, really, if all laws stem from this Hebrew deity's pronoucements in Egypt...well, if that is the truth, Oklahoma voters just created anarchy.
Through a mixture of racism, paranoia, and ignorance state question 755 passed with 70% of the vote last Tuesday. The questions says specifically (emphasis mine):
This measure amends the State Constitution. It changes a section that deals with the courts of this state. It would amend Article 7, Section 1. It makes courts rely on federal and state law when deciding cases. It forbids courts from considering or using international law. It forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law.International law is also known as the law of nations. It deals with the conduct of international organizations and independent nations, such as countries, states and tribes. It deals with their relationship with each other. It also deals with some of their relationships with persons.
The law of nations is formed by the general assent of civilized nations. Sources of international law also include international agreements, as well as treaties.
Sharia Law is Islamic law. It is based on two principal sources, the Koran and the teaching of Mohammed.
The parts that I put in italics, I think we all can agree, are the portions of the state question that were emphasized prior to the November 2nd vote. It is also the part bill sponsor Rex Duncan wanted everyone to think about. Sure, portions of Sharia law can be mysognistic and brutal, but most importantly it is Muslim, and therefore, not Christian. With that in mind, it is hardly a surprise that the lion's share of Oklahomans quickly checked yes to approve the measure.
However, in the five minutes they spent in the voting booth educating themselves on the state questions--by skimming it long enough to see the word "Sharia"--the electorate of this state also effectively banned Judeo-Christian law from being considered in our judicial system.
A strict reading of the Ten Commandments would argue that it is Egyptian, since Mt. Sinai is located on the continent of Africa--also, supposedly where our President was born (right Birthers?). It could more leniently be said to be Israeli law since Moses led a religious tribe that was made up of non-citizens of the land of Egypt. The most liberal interpretation is that it is universal law, which is hard to argue since we just intentionally voted down Sharia law which would reject judaic law out of principle. What everyone has to agree is that those Ten Commandments were not adopted within the borders of the United States of America (unless you are a Latter Day Saint) and certainly not in the State of Oklahoma.
It is, therefore, international law, and the Oklahoma Constitution now states that it is illegal to consider international law.
Will it stop every politician, whether Republican or Democrat, from claiming that they will base their every decision on their Christian faith? It won't stop them from saying that they will uphold the Constitution with their next breath, either. It will, however, give those filing lawsuits to get those Ten Commandment monuments that this state loves to put in front of government buildings--including the Capitol--more than enough ammunition to succeed.