Legislators in Indiana have proposed a fix to their controversial “religious freedom” bill (RFRA), and it’s certainly a step forward for LGBT rights. The amendment, which still awaits approval from Governor Mike Pence, would prevent small businesses from using the RFRA to discriminate in many ways. Read more
Eight states still have provisions in their constitutions that either bar atheists outright from holding public office or require people to believe certain things about God and religion before they can be elected.
These provisions can’t be enforced. They were declared invalid by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1961 ruling in the case of Torcaso v. Watkins. Yet they linger on, a testament to the bigotry of bygone days. Read more
An Arkansas woman has declared her gun range a “Muslim-free zone.” Jan Morgan, proprietor of The Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range, announced the change on the business’ Facebook page; as justification, she cited the “strange behavior” of two recent patrons Morgan assumed to be of Middle Eastern descent.
Texas legislators got the bright idea in 2007 to pass legislation encouraging public school districts to begin offering courses about the Bible. Although objective academic study of religion is constitutionally permissible in public schools, Americans United was suspicious. Read more
Next month marks the 49th anniversary of the first U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down officially sponsored prayer in public schools. The decision in Engel v. Vitale was issued on June 25, 1962.
The case is nearly half a century old, so it’s not like it’s fresh news. It’s always something of a surprise, then, when word gets out about teachers who decide to openly defy the Constitution. Read more
Every year, you can count on state legislators coming along with proposals for public schools to teach “about” the Bible and its influence on art and literature.
It sounds good in theory. After all, the Supreme Court has never said that objective study about religion is unconstitutional. Read more
This weekend, I’ll be joining the large crowds taking over Washington for Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity.”
I don’t really know what to expect of the event, or if it will actually “restore sanity.” But I do know Stewart’s title choice couldn’t be more perfect, especially when I consider the many people in this country who have taken to saying and doing really idiotic things lately. Read more