I recently heard some interesting news from my hometown in suburban Pittsburgh: A Ten Commandments monument that was the subject of a federal court battle has been removed from the grounds of a public high school.
Another year, another attempt to encourage proselytizing in public-school classrooms.
Last Thursday, the Florida Senate passed SB 436 by a vote of 23-13, almost entirely along party lines. A revised version in the House – HB 303 – will likely receive a floor vote in the House this week. Then the two chambers will duel it out over the two versions, or better yet, pass neither.
Every few years, someone in the far-right fundamentalist Christian community puts forth the argument that modern American culture has become so nasty and hostile to “traditional” Christians that it’s time to withdraw.
They don’t plan to go to a forgotten island somewhere. Rather, they would create a kind of community in internal exile. As much as possible, they’d form parallel structures, such as fundamentalist-oriented educational institutions and media channels, and tend to their own gardens.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a trio of cases that will decide whether religiously affiliated hospital systems must comply with federal pension protections. The large health systems don’t want to; they argue they should get a narrow exemption to the law carved out for houses of worship. But these health systems, with nearly 100,000 employees, are not churches.
Yesterday concluded the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.
As we’ve written before, Gorsuch’s history as a federal appeals court judge indicates that he does not support true religious freedom. His performance during the hearings did nothing to allay our concerns.
Today, Americans United filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald J. Trump’s latest attempt at a Muslim ban. The suit seeks justice for Muslim Yemeni parents who were granted asylum in the United States and are now unable to get U.S. visas for two of their young children still stranded overseas and facing the danger of returning to war-torn Yemen.
I got a press release Wednesday from Liberty University, the fundamentalist Christian college in Lynchburg, Va., founded by Jerry Falwell, crowing because President Donald J. Trump will speak at commencement ceremonies there May 13.
The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that prohibits all non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. This provision has been protecting the integrity of our tax-exempt charities, houses of worship and our elections for more than 60 years.
The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.
Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.
Last week, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gave a speech to a group of Catholic lawyers that didn’t get as much attention as it should have.