The Greene County Schools maintain a policy of allowing students to be excused from school on religious holidays regularly observed by the students’ faiths. Despite this policy, the Schools refused to excuse a Wiccan student from school to observe two Wiccan religious holidays. In a letter to the Schools, we explained that the Schools’ failure to apply the policy to Wiccans constituted invidious discrimination against Wiccans that violated the Establishment, Free Exercise, and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution. Read more
When it comes to the Religious Right, the hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me.
Yesterday, on the eve of the Muslim observance of Ramadan, The New York Times published a story detailing the leaders and groups behind the recent push for anti-Shariah laws in state legislatures, and – shocker! – one is former Christian Coalition Field Director Guy Rodgers. Read more
Working for Americans United, I sometimes hear about public school officials who have a very poor understanding of the Constitution.
But no matter how many times I hear these stories, it still always shocks me that there are educators out there who refuse to respect the rights of all students, not just the majority.
That’s what’s happening in Bastrop, La., right now. A graduating senior who is an atheist has asked his school to discontinue prayers at commencement. Read more
Back in September, Americans United urged Army officials to cancel an evangelistic event at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
AU said “Rock the Fort” targeted both service personnel and civilian families in the surrounding community for conversion to evangelical Christianity. Despite its clear religious nature, the rally and concert received the full backing of military brass, who helped advertise and fund the event to the tune of $54,500. Read more
Back in 1984, Religious Right groups lobbied Congress in full force to pass a bill ensuring that Christian student clubs and organizations would be free to meet on public school campuses.
They succeeded in making the Equal Access Act the law of the land. The act states that under most circumstances, public schools must allow a wide range of student-run clubs to meet during “non-instructional” time. This opened the door for public schools to allow student religious clubs, including Bible study groups, to meet freely. Read more
Back in 2003, when I was a first-year law student at The Ohio State University, I remember hearing rumblings about a group called the Christian Legal Society (CLS) that discriminated against gay students. Read more
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear at least has one thing right: taxpayers should never be required to fund discrimination.
Earlier this month, Beshear outraged scientists, civil liberties activists and, indeed, lots of people who care about reasonable and responsible government, with his plan to provide tax incentives for the developers of a creationism-themed park featuring a full-size rendering of Noah’s ark. Read more
We have some good news out of Oklahoma today. A federal judge has put a temporary stop to the so-called “Save Our State Amendment” – Oklahoma’s anti-Shariah amendment.
The measure, which passed with 70 percent of the vote on Nov. 2, revises the state constitution so that “courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia Law.” Read more
This weekend, I’ll be joining the large crowds taking over Washington for Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity.”
I don’t really know what to expect of the event, or if it will actually “restore sanity.” But I do know Stewart’s title choice couldn’t be more perfect, especially when I consider the many people in this country who have taken to saying and doing really idiotic things lately. Read more