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‘Help’ Not Wanted: Most Of Ohio’s School Vouchers Go Unused

Are Ohio residents too dumb to fully take advantage of the state’s voucher program? Some “school-choice” advocates seem to imply as much.

The Mansfield News Journal reported that the vast majority of Ohio’s EdChoice “scholarships” – they’re really vouchers – which are available to students in so-called “failing” schools, were not claimed for the current school year. Read more

States Of Prayer: Legislators In Three States Push Bills To Promote Religion In Public Schools

The Supreme Court made it clear decades ago that our public schools aren’t meant to be places for spreading religion. But for legislators in three states, court rulings are no deterrent to their dogmatic agendas.

Lawmakers in South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee are debating bills that are designed, supporters say, to “put prayer back in schools.” The tactics vary, but in each case the desired outcome is the same: a potentially unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state. And the legislators behind the bills aren’t shy about their motivations.
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Charter For Creationism?: Activist Finds Questionable Science In Tax-Funded School Chain

A company called Responsive Education Solutions runs charter schools in several states, most of them in Texas. These schools receive millions in taxpayer support every year. Read more

Religious Freedom For All: Another Dream Of Dr. Martin Luther King

Note: Today is the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. This blog post is a re-publication on an item that originally appeared on Jan. 13, 2006.

Today marks the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Since his tragic assassination on April 4, 1968, King's memory has been pressed into service in highly unusual ways that King himself would not have supported.

Huddling With Jesus?: UConn Football Coach Says Players Must Accept Christ To Succeed

A position coach for the University of Connecticut’s football team said he intends to add a new “superstar” recruit to the Huskies’ squad: Jesus Christ.  

UConn, which is a public institution, recently hired Ernest T. Jones to serve as the team’s running backs coach and also as its director of “player engagement.” Since nobody would know what “player engagement” means without an explanation, Jones was kind enough to clarify. Read more

Religious Freedom Day 2014: Resolve To Defend The Church-State Wall

I still use a large desk calendar, one made out of paper. (Yep, I admit I’m a dinosaur.)

This calendar thoughtfully fills me in on holidays major and minor. On March 17, I can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Benito Juarez’s Birthday. I wouldn’t want to miss Administrative Professionals Day on April 23, and Victoria Day (May 19) is a big deal in Canada. For you internationalists, Oct. 24 is United Nations Day.

But one holiday that does not appear is Religious Freedom Day, which is today, Jan. 16. Read more

Courthouse Controversy: New York City Judge Censured For Workplace Evangelism

A New York City judge has been censured for coercing her employees to participate in religious activities. Judge Mary Brigantti-Hughes had received permission to host a voluntary Bible study and prayer group during lunch hour, but an official investigation revealed that her activities didn’t end with lunch. 
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Parade Of Religious Right Extremists: Va. Town’s Religious Freedom Celebration Dishonors Vision Of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson wanted only three of his many accomplishments noted on his grave’s headstone, and one of them was his authorship of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Read more

Jesus On The Job: Kan. Officials Were Right To Curb Employee's Proselytizing

Last month, an employee of the Kansas Corporation Commission, a state agency, decided to add a reference to the employee newsletter about how much Christmas meant to him because it is the birthday of “the king” – Jesus Christ.

Jared Bowes’ bosses didn’t think this was such a good idea and removed the material. Bowes’ reaction was unusual: He sent an angry e-mail to all of the commission’s employees explaining his religious motivations. Read more

To Russia, With Hate: U.S. Anti-Gay Cultural Warriors Bring Olympic-Sized Homophobia To Eastern Europe

The world’s eyes are on Russia.

That’s probably little surprise, since the country is set to host the Winter Olympics next month. But its anti-gay policies threaten to distract from the Olympic pageantry as a government crackdown on LGBT activists raises global ire.
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