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. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more
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.
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. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and some of his political allies are attempting to funnel millions in taxpayer dollars to two sectarian institutions that train members of the clergy – and they’d prefer to keep citizens in the dark about the details. Read more