A Florida court just threw out an appeal brought by Americans United and its allies challenging a school-voucher-like program that provides taxpayer support for religious organizations. As disappointing as that outcome is, it’s doubly frustrating to see a second Sunshine State court fail to even consider the merits of the case.
A cross displayed in a public park in Pensacola, Fla., isn’t a problem because it’s “simply there” and it’s like a tree.
I know. It doesn’t make sense. Yet those arguments were made recently by the Pensacola News-Journal after the American Humanist Association (AHA) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed suit to remove a Latin cross from Bayview Park. The suit, which the groups filed on behalf of four residents, argues that the display of a sectarian symbol on public land violates the First Amendment.
The Florida House of Representatives may soon deliberate a bill to make abortion a felony in the state. HB 865, or the “Florida for Life Act,” would make it a first-degree felony to perform an abortion or operate an abortion clinic in the state. Violations could be punished by up to 30 years in prison.
As state legislatures gather across the country to start their 2016 legislative sessions, Americans United’s Protect Thy Neighbor (PTN) project is gearing up to monitor and fight legislation that would allow individuals, businesses and government employees to harm others in the name of religion.
Mark your calendars! Rob Boston, AU’s director of communications, will be speaking at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Naples, Florida! The topic will be “Are We a Christian Nation?”
DATE: Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
ADDRESS: 6340 Napa Woods Way, Naples, FL
A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. start of the main program. A Q&A will follow.
Organizers of a Brownsville, Fla., gospel concert rejected a taxpayer-funded tourism grant after Americans United raised concerns about its legality.
The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners had originally voted to give $30,000 to the “It’s Personal” venue for hosting the Aug. 7 concert; the venue is affiliated with Friendship Baptist Church, and concert organizers said the event was to be held in collaboration with the house of worship. The brother of Friendship Baptist’s pastor, the Rev. LuTimothy May, also sits on the board of county commissioners.
Legislators in Arkansas voted earlier this year to erect the Ten Commandments at the state capitol in Little Rock. This would seem to be a clear example of government showing favoritism to a religious code. But for now, other faiths shouldn’t assume they’ll get the same treatment.
A Florida pastor thinks he has the solution to reducing theft in the United States, and it has nothing to do with law enforcement.
As far as the Rev. Garry Wiggins of Evangel Temple Assembly of God in Jacksonville is concerned, school-age children are being prevented from learning basic morals – including that theft is wrong – because of the pesky constitutional principle of church-state separation.
The Brevard County, Fla., Board of County Commissioners’ policy of excluding nontheists from offering pre-meeting invocations is unconstitutional, several civil liberties groups say in a federal lawsuit.