In a groundbreaking victory against government sponsorship of religion, a New Jersey appellate court ruled that the administration of Gov. Chris Christie violated the New Jersey Constitution when it awarded more than $11 million to two religious institutions of higher learning. This decision by the Appellate Division represents the first major state court precedent in almost 40 years concerning New Jersey’s prohibition on using taxpayer funding to support a religious ministry.
A self-proclaimed “former terrorist” with strong ties to the Religious Right recently provided a training session to Ocean County, N. J., police academy. According to the Asbury Park Press, Palestinian-American Walid Shoebat openly encouraged his audience to single out Muslims for special scrutiny. He also told aspiring officers to beware of Muslims taking martial arts classes as this was evidence they were preparing for jihad.
A New Jersey town withdrew its official sponsorship of an event that featured a live online video broadcast of a papal mass after receiving a complaint from Americans United.
Cape May, N.J., had planned to show a live stream of Pope Francis’ Sept. 27 public mass in Philadelphia at a government-owned building, the Cape May Convention Hall. Tickets for the event were also distributed at city hall.
June will be remembered as a landmark month in the decades-long struggle for LGBT rights. That’s primarily due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) should not have ruled in favor of a New Jersey substitute teacher who was fired for giving a Bible to a student, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
In a letter submitted to the EEOC’s New York District Office today, Americans United argued that the Phillipsburg School District could legally terminate Walt Tutka’s employment if the school acted for the purposes of avoiding a church-state violation.
A prominent Jewish group called the Orthodox Union (OU) has announced at its annual conference that it will lobby the state of New York to increase public funding for Jewish day schools and yeshivot – even though this raises some serious constitutional concerns.
In a few weeks, Religious Right groups, aided and abetted by their allies at the Fox News Channel, will start their annual carping about the “war on Christmas.” But before that starts, we have to get through Halloween.
A federal court in New Jersey upheld the state’s ban on “conversion therapy” for minors yesterday. U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson rejected a claim by two New Jersey parents that the ban violated the Constitution by prohibiting them from choosing the therapy for their child, who, they said, suffers from “unwanted” same-sex attractions.
Pastor Tom Douglass of Galloway Township, N.J., is no fan of generic prayers before public meetings. That’s why he’s asking city officials to “muscle up” for future invocations.
Back in February, the council unanimously approved a resolution to allow council members to open meetings with an approved, generic prayer. But some local clergy protested this less sectarian approach, and asked that the council return to its old policy of letting clergy deliver prayers to open meetings, according to the Press of Atlantic City.