Yesterday was “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual event sponsored by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a large Religious Right legal group, during which members of the clergy are urged to violate federal law by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office from the pulpit.
Good news from Alabama: Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended from the court without pay for the remainder of his term.
Technically, Moore has not been removed from office, but today’s decision by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary has that effect. He has been suspended for the rest of his term, and he can’t run again because Alabama law prohibits anyone older than 70 from being appointed to or elected to the bench. (Moore will turn 70 in February.)
Seventy-two-year-old Neal Frey has a really interesting, yet sad, way of spending his days. A “textbook analyst,” he puts on his fundamentalist Christian lenses and scrutinizes Texas’ future educational materials.
Like I said: sad!
The Nevada Supreme Court just decided to permanently block funding for a massive statewide school voucher program, which is great news for supporters of both church-state separation and public education.
In two cases decided today, the Nevada high court struck down S.B. 302, the law that created a voucher program to divert taxpayer dollars from public schools to private schools.
Alabama’s anti-gay chief justice, Roy Moore, was on trial before a state ethics board yesterday. He stands accused of instructing Alabama officials to defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision. Based on media reports, it seems the longtime foe of Americans United didn’t make a very strong case for keeping his job.
But before we get to that, here’s a recap of events leading up to this point:
Last week, AU Legislative Director Maggie Garrett and I traveled throughout North Carolina to talk with faith leaders about the need to keep faith communities out of partisan politics as well as religious freedom legislation at both the state and federal levels.
We made stops in Greenville, Durham, Charlotte and Asheville. The people of North Carolina, particularly the AU chapter leaders and leaders with the North Carolina Council of Churches with whom we partnered, are incredibly gracious and hospitable. North Carolina is certainly a beautiful state. I loved our time there.
A Connecticut police chief thinks that crime is on the rise in his city due to people not being religious – actually Christian – enough.
“We need God in our lives,” Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez said on Saturday to a crowd of people attending a police solidarity march, according to a Connecticut Post report.
Americans United in July filed a lawsuit in a Massachusetts court challenging three awards of taxpayer money to houses of worship to pay for renovations and upkeep.
These awards were made under the state Community Preservation Act (CPA). The idea behind the CPA is to ensure that historic properties are maintained. That is certainly a laudable goal, but in this case, we believe the state has gone too far.
One of the things I love about working at Americans United is the religious diversity, both among our staff and among the many people across the United States who fight alongside us for religious freedom for all people.
Though I know there are things we disagree on in terms of our religious beliefs, we are united in a common passion for a common goal – to ensure religious/philosophical freedom for all and to refuse to allow religion to be used to harm or discriminate against others.