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Prayer Prescription?: Ga. Group Claims Official School Prayer Will Cure Society’s Ills

A Georgia group apparently thinks forcing more prayer into public schools will cure all sorts of societal problems.

During a rally yesterday on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol, a group called the Legislative Clergy Council gathered along with a handful of clergy and some students from Morehouse College in support of a student prayer bill. Read more

(Un)Fantastic Five: AU’s Protect Thy Neighbor Project Announces New Tool To Track Faux ‘Religious Freedom’ Bills

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. Read more

Ga. High School Drops Official Pre-Game Prayer After Americans United Complaint

Officials at a Georgia high school agreed to stop reciting prayers over loudspeakers before football games thanks to a complaint from Americans United, but a new controversy has arisen in the wake of this decision.

West Laurens High School in Dexter agreed to replace its pre-game prayer with a moment of silence. But before a game on Aug. 21, many attendees interrupted the moment of silence by reciting the Lord’s Prayer in unison and then singing “Amazing Grace,” which was played by the school marching band. Read more

Dry In The Sky?: Muslim Flight Attendant Files Lawsuit Over Airline’s Refusal To Exempt Her From Touching Alcohol

When it comes to people refusing to do their jobs on religious grounds, Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis is getting all the attention right now. But when her 15 minutes pass, we’ll be left with plenty of private-sector employees who think the First Amendment exempts them from performing any job functions they don’t like. Read more

Troubled Consciences: Ga. Pharmacist Withholds Crucial Medicine From Miscarrying Woman

Georgia’s broad “conscience clauses” are under renewed scrutiny due to reports that a pharmacist refused to fill a prescription for a drug some abortion opponents don’t like. According to Brittany Cartrett, a Walmart pharmacy blocked her prescription for Misoprostol. Cartrett needed the drug to manage a natural miscarriage, but it is also often prescribed to induce medical abortions. Read more

Ga. Town Council Reverses Stand On Zoning Exemption For Muslims

Facing a lawsuit, a Georgia city council reversed its vote rejecting a zoning variance for an Islamic prayer center.

The Kennesaw City Council originally voted 4-1 last month to deny the Suffa Dawat congregation a permit for a storefront worship space. Council members cited concerns about traffic, but congregants argued that the space would have simply acted as a temporary home during the construction of a permanent mosque. Read more

Georgia Justice?: City Officials Grant Special Zoning Exemptions To A Church But Reject A Mosque

A Georgia city council has rejected a zoning request for a mosque, despite previously approving a similar request for a Christian church.

The Kennesaw City Council voted 4-1 to deny the Suffa Dawat congregation a permit for a storefront worship space. Council members cited concerns about traffic, but congregants argued that the space would have simply acted as a temporary home during the construction of a permanent mosque. Read more

The Demographics Of Discrimination: ‘Religious Freedom’ Bills Continue To Lose Popular Support

The Religious Right continues to push for a religion-based freedom to discriminate in state after state, but there are signs they’re losing the battle.

Arizona’s infamous ‘religious freedom’ bill, which would grant religious business owners the right to refuse service to LGBT people (or others they deem unsuitable), is quickly losing what little public support it enjoyed. Members of the business community say the bill, which is currently awaiting Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature, would actually hurt business.
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Paying For Prejudice: Georgia Tax-Credit Program Subsidizes Anti-Gay Bias

Vouchers and tuition tax credits, we’re told by those who favor them, will promote “school choice.”

This is true, in a sense. But here’s the harsh reality: It’s the private school that gets the choice, not the parents. Read more

Teaching About Religion In Public Schools: Let’s Do It Right

The claim that public schools are “religion-free” zones is a Religious Right myth that has no basis in reality.

Public schools can (and do) teach about religion. Teachers discuss its role in world and U.S. history. They talk about biblical allusions found in great works of literature. They lecture on how religion has influenced art and music.

The approach must be objective and tied to legitimate educational objectives. Proselytism or elevating one faith over others has no place in the classroom. Read more

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