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The Veep Candidates Should Have Been Asked About Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

Last night’s vice presidential debate covered several issues pertaining to the economy, foreign policy, immigration and even faith – for a brief moment. 

When debate moderator Elaine Quijano asked, “Can you discuss in detail a time when you struggled to balance your personal faith and a public policy position?” both U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) talked about reproductive rights.  

Censorship Crusade: Far-Right Politician, Parents Team Up To Ban Books In Va. Public Schools

Some parents in a Virginia county are upset about a few books on public school summer reading lists – so much so that they’re calling for censorship.

Chesterfield County, which is just south of Richmond, has been besieged for a second-straight year by a group that is clearly under the influence of the Religious Right.

Va. Governor Vetoes Voucher-Like Bill

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in April vetoed a bill that would have created a voucher-like program for disabled students.

In a statement, McAuliffe said that the bill, H.B. 389, would have been in “direct conflict” with a clause in the state constitution that forbids public aid to private, religious schools. 

“This bill raises constitutional questions, diverts funds from public schools, and creates an unfair system. Our goal is to support and improve public education across the Commonwealth for all students, not to codify inequality,” he added.

Mayor Of Richmond Accused Of Diverting Tax Funds To His Church

The mayor of Virginia’s capital city stands accused of diverting city resources toward the church he heads, and his defense is unusual: The First Amendment shields him from scrutiny.

In addition to being mayor of Richmond, the Rev. Dwight C. Jones (D) is also senior pastor at First Baptist Church of South Richmond. He was elected mayor in 2008 and since then, city offices have been salted with hires who are also members of First Baptist.

Va. County Closes School Over Islam Lesson

Augusta County, Va., public schools temporarily closed in December due to public backlash to a World Geography lesson. Riverheads High School teacher Cheryl LaPorte asked students to copy the shahada, or Islamic declaration of faith, as part of a lesson on Arabic calligraphy.

Kimberly Herndon, a local parent, blasted the assignment.

Freedom vs. Fear: Restricting Religious Liberty Isn't The Answer To Terrorism

Last week, a community meeting was held in Spotsylvania County, Va., to discuss plans by a group of Muslims who want to relocate and expand an Islamic center where they have been worshipping for 15 years.

What should have been a routine matter of zoning turned ugly when two men in the audience began hurling insults.

Remembering The Memorial: Happy Birthday To A Classic Of Religious Liberty

Let’s say a legislator in your state came up with the bright idea to force everyone to pay a special tax to support “teachers of the Christian religion.” What would you do?

You’d probably fire up your computer and use social media and Twitter to mobilize opposition. You might start an online petition or lobby the legislature directly.

But if it were 1785, and you didn’t have any of those tools, you might just have to do what James Madison did – reach for a quill pen and write a broadside so powerful it would sink the idea.