First Amendment Overkill Or When Politicians Don’t Know The Law

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old photo of a Fiery PreacherSoon after the US Supreme Court ruled that LGBT couples could be legally married in all 50 states, many political and religious conservatives lost their minds. Some politicians, like Ohio Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) either don’t understand civil rights or they just really hate not being able to be bigots. Vitale wants to pass a law that will protect pastors from having to perform same-sex weddings which is already covered under the 1st amendment.
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Finally, The ACLU Turns Against The RFRA

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logo for the ACLUDuring the recent firestorm over state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) like those passed by Indiana and the use of them to discriminate against LGBT people, one of my conservative friends pointed out many liberals and the ACLU supported the federal RFRA passed in 1993. He implied they were being hypocrites. Late last week the ACLU formally repudiated its support of the RFRA.
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Southern Baptists Write A Book On How To Subvert The Law

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logo for Southern Baptist ConventionA committee of the Southern Baptist Convention has published a pamphlet teaching members how to subvert civil laws against discrimination. The main idea is to pretend all church employees are ministers so they can use the ministerial exemption.
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Coach Led Prayer At University Of Toledo Draws Response

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logo for the University of Toledo sports teamsLast week I posted about a letter the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent to the President of the University of Toledo complaining about the head football coach Matt Campbell being seen, in a video, leading a prayer before a game in 2012. The Toledo Blade published an editorial, on May 29th, supporting Coach Campbell and I had a letter to the editor published responding to their wrong conclusion.
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University Of Toledo Football Coach Caught Leading Prayers

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screencap of Coach Matt Campbell leading prayer at University of Toledo 2012
Coach Matt Campbell leads prayer before a game at the University of Toledo in 2012

Last week, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to the University of Toledo to advise them that their head football coach Matt Campbell violated the 1st amendment by leading his team in prayer before a game in 2012. Coaches, just like any other teacher, should NOT be leading prayers at a public school since the students don’t have a real choice to participate and the coach is making a big assumption that all the players believe the same way he does.
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The Difference Between Religious Freedom And Religious Freedom

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painting of The Puritans landing in America
The Puritans

In the national debate over religious freedom and Religious Freedom Restoration Acts passed in some states, it’s important to define our terms. Religious freedom means one thing to religious conservatives and another thing for progressives who support church and state separation. I don’t know if it’s good to know the debate has been going on since the founding of this country.
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