Apparently some creationists are so eager to advance their agenda that they will use just about any materials they can get their hands on – including a video made by a controversial evangelist in Turkey who collects young woman followers and has been accused of being a Holocaust denier.
A Columbus, Ohio, student has won first place in Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s Student Essay Contest.
McKenzie Hartman, a senior at Metro Early College High School, earned a prize of $500 for her essay on why the separation of church of state is integral to preserving religious freedom in America’s pluralistic society.
Hartman’s winning essay will be printed in Church & State, Americans United’s membership magazine, in July, and Americans United sent her school $500 to be used for educational supplies.
An Ohio program designed to reduce the number of school drop-outs through mentoring is funneling most of the money to religious groups, a newspaper has reported.
The program, called Community Connectors, encourages religious and community groups to partner with public schools to provide services to at-risk students. When Gov. John Kasich announced the plan late in 2014, he stipulated that schools must have “faith-based” partners to qualify for the funding.
Republican presidential contender Ohio Gov. John Kasich is a favorite among some in the media. Although his poll numbers aren’t impressive, Kasich, many in the press corps would have the country believe, is a thoughtful, moderate alternative to the likes of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
A Toledo, Ohio, judge who refused to serve a same-sex couple violated that couple’s constitutional rights, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
In a letter sent today, Americans United explained that government employees responsible for performing duties related to marriage are not permitted to serve opposite-sex couples exclusively.
Americans United’s Legal Department received a complaint recently about a public high school in the town of Willoughby that planned to perform an opera based on Christian concepts.
The opera, “I Am Martol,” was written by Ben Richard, a choral music teacher at South High School. Its plot concerns a sinner who is approached by a messenger from God and given a final chance to repent by accepting the Lord’s message of salvation. The sinner does so and ascends into heaven. In other words, it was the standard evangelical Christian message set to music.
Cuyahoga County, Ohio, jailers threatened a Muslim woman with solitary confinement if she did not attend Christian services while incarcerated, according to a new lawsuit.
Sakeena Majeed, 24, also alleges that other inmates were forced to attend the services, regardless of their religious affiliation, and that officials mocked inmates who did not wish to participate.
“The government can’t tell people which god to pray to, or whether to pray at all,” Majeed’s attorney, Matthew Besser, told Cleveland.com.
Ohio officials may not require public school districts to partner with churches and faith-based organizations as a condition of taking part in a tax-funded mentoring program, Americans United said recently.
In a letter sent Dec. 17 to Ohio Gov. John Kasich and other officials, Americans United explained that the Community Connectors program, which provides $10 million in 3-to-1 matching grants, violates the First Amendment because it gives religious organizations priority over secular groups.
Ohio’s public schools are now eligible for a publicly funded mentorship program – but only if they partner with houses of worship and religious charities. Gov. John Kasich (R) recently announced the requirement as a surprise addition to HB 483, which allocated $10 million for the “Community Connectors” program and originally described faith-based partnerships as an option, rather than a mandate, for schools.