Texas public schools are in trouble. In 2011, lawmakers decided to slash $5 billion from the state’s education system. That action lead to a lawsuit, and with the matter now before the Texas Supreme Court, it seems the Religious Right senses an opportunity to grab some taxpayer dollars for its system of private Christian academies. Read more
Proposed regulations released today by nine federal agencies will bring about necessary reforms to the rules that apply to partnerships between the government and faith-based social-services providers, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says. Read more
Spurred by the American Family Association’s “Bigotry Map,” a Pennsylvania newspaper investigated the supporters of an Americans United chapter and discovered the obvious: They aren’t bigots. Read more
Anti-gay discrimination masquerading as “religious freedom” is back in the news after the owners of a Bloomsburg, Pa., bridal shop turned a lesbian couple away. Think Progress reports that the owners cited their Christian beliefs as the motivation for the decision.
“We feel we have to answer to God for what we do, and providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God’s law,” said Victoria Miller, who co-owns W.W. Bridal. Read more
In a rare moment of clarity, some Kansas lawmakers are reportedly hesitant to vote for a measure that would define “religious liberty” as a license to discriminate against same-sex couples.
The Kansas House of Representatives voted 72-49 last week in favor of a bill that would permit any individual, group or private business to turn away same-sex couples if providing a service would violate their religious beliefs. Read more
The people of Missouri deserve better.
Not only has the state’s legislature passed a measure that could open the door to government-promoted religion – it plans to deliberately mislead Missourians about it.
H.J.R. 2 will appear on the November 2012 ballot. It’s an amendment that will add language to the state’s constitution codifying the right of Missourians to express their religious beliefs in public places, including public schools. Read more
Americans United often points out the church-state separation is not only good for government, it’s also good for religion.
Yesterday, three members of the clergy – a Baptist minister, a Presbyterian minister and a rabbi – made that clear in a letter to Florida legislators. They wrote to oppose SJR 1218, a measure that tears down the church-state wall erected by the state constitution. Read more
Whenever I hear religious conservatives assert that religious freedom is under attack in the United States, I can only shake my head.
Do they know nothing about history or even the world today? Consider what happened in Soviet Russia under Josef Stalin, where houses of worship were bulldozed and clergy tossed into gulags. Think about China and North Korea, where freedom of worship still remains a dream. Consider even one of our allies – Saudi Arabia – where it’s illegal to build a Christian church. Read more
Religious liberty is a fairly easy concept to grasp: All faiths have the right to exist, meet for worship, spread their ideas and build facilities. All must abide by certain laws, and the government must treat them equally. Read more