Pay For Pray? Oklahoma House Speaker Proposes Privately Funded Capitol Chapel

Nov 27, 2013

Oklahoma's Republican House speaker wants to add a chapel inside the Capitol that celebrates the state's "Judeo-Christian heritage," a plan that's raising the eyebrows of libertarians and legal scholars who wonder if it's constitutional.

Credit russavia / Creative Commons

Lawton Republican T.W. Shannon says several GOP members urged him to consider using some newly acquired House space on the second floor of the building to House the chapel, which he said would be paid for with private funds. Shannon says his plan is to commemorate the faith community in Oklahoma.

About a half-dozen states have some kind of chapel inside their Capitols.

But some members and legal experts in Oklahoma question the wisdom of a chapel in a publicly funded building when the state already is being sued over a newly erected Ten Commandments monument.