As we reported yesterday, the election results this week were largely disappointing to the Catholic bishops and their Religious Right allies. Most of their top-priority candidates and referenda went down to defeat.
Louisiana is a perfectly nice state with a lot of good people in it – but some of the state’s legislators and public officials don’t seem to get it when it comes to separation of church and state.
The Pelican State has repeatedly passed laws that mix religion and government. Over the years, several laws have been passed designed to promote creationism – the most recent effort being a so-called “science education act” that attempts to bring anti-evolutionism in through schoolhouse backdoors. Read more
Some people just have to learn everything the hard way.
According to a Louisiana newspaper, the Rapides Parish Police Jury has voted 8-1 to put the Ten Commandments on courtroom walls. (A police jury is what the people in some parts of Louisiana call their county council; its members are elected by the voters.)
The jury approved a motion to display the Decalogue, despite a strong warning from jury legal counsel. Read more
Forget what the Constitution and the courts say, Alabama State Sen. Gerald Dial knows best.
On Tuesday, Dial introduced for the seventh time in his 10 years in office a bill that would amend the state constitution to encourage display of the Ten Commandments in public schools and other governmental buildings.
According to Dial, the Commandments don’t favor any particular religious belief; they’re just “rules we ought to live by.” Read more
On Tuesday I flew to New England to speak to a humanist group in Worcester, Mass. It was a great event, and I pleased to see so many people venture out on a cold night to hear what I had to say.
As I surveyed the crowd from the podium, I spotted an old friend in the third row: Ellery Schempp. Read more
Alabama “Commandments Judge” Roy Moore doesn’t let too much time go by before he cries out for some more attention.
Yesterday, he was quoted in a Birmingham News blog, in which he offered another anti-church-state separation rant. The blog was about a letter Americans United sent to an Alabama school board opposing official prayers before meetings. Read more
Does Ohio Judge James DeWeese really want his future judicial career to be as bleak as former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore?
DeWeese was told by a federal judge last week that his self-designed Ten Commandments poster cannot be displayed in his courtroom. This is the second time a court has ordered the Richland County judge to remove a Decalogue display.
Hearing about DeWeese got us thinking here today about another non-compliant judge and Religious Right favorite, Roy Moore. Read more
I'm always surprised when people in the heartland of America – conservative folks who claim to love their country and its institutions – display contempt for the rule of law.
Consider the case of Haskell County, Okla. A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that an eight-foot-high Ten Commandments monument erected in front of the courthouse in 2004 must come down. The monument, the court declared, violates the separation of church and state. Read more