When Oklahoma applied for statehood in 1906, Congress required that Oklahoma's leaders accept an additional clause (known as a “Blaine Amendment”) in the state Constitution that went far beyond the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment separation of church and state. 

U.S. law already forbade taxpayer money from going to pay for churches or for proselytizing, but the Blaine Amendment forbids any state government funding from going to religiously-affiliated organizations, even if those organizations are receiving funds to provide vital social services and are the best or only ones doing so. 

In other states, the Blaine Amendment has been used to block funding for religiously affiliated schools that had won grants to make playgrounds safer. In Florida, an identical amendment was used by atheists to sue one of the most successful and cost-effective ex-convict rehabilitation programs in the state.  

But one of the worst examples of the abuses of the Blaine Amendment was the five-year legal battle waged by secular forces and a few school districts in Oklahoma against disabled kids and their parents for accepting a state scholarship to attend specialized private schools when the public schools could not meet their needs.