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. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more
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.
Let’s say you work as a teacher in a Catholic school in Cincinnati and your old friend, who is gay, invites you to New York to attend his same-sex wedding. You attend and snap some photos of this happy event, which you post on Facebook.
The school can fire you for that.
Let’s say you have another friend who, along with her husband, has struggled to conceive. The couple uses in vitro fertilization and gets good news: They’re going to have a baby. You use Twitter to send a message of congratulations to your friend.
The school can fire you for that. Read more
And now a quick visit to the “what-could-they-possibly-have-been-thinking?” department.
Police officers in Summit County, Ohio, are in hot water after they agreed to participate in a publicity stunt designed to drum up interest in a play about how difficult it is for pastors to publicly defend the Christian faith. Read more
There’s something rotten in the city of Springboro, Ohio. This community of about 17,000 in southwestern Ohio has suddenly become ground zero in a Religious Right-led culture war. What’s happening there should be a cautionary tale to all of us.
In the wake of elections last year, a three-member Tea Party faction now controls the school board. They’re up to no good. Read more