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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Cleveland Plain Dealer Attacks Separation Of Church And State

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Cleveland Plain Dealer logoIt’s not very often when news media inserts itself in a contentious local issue, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer decided that the separation of church and state was a bridge too far. It took a side in a resolved issue over a public school musical performance of an opera with religious concepts.
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Response To My Letter Supporting Same-Sex Marriage Goes Old School – Still Draws Wrong Conclusions

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created image saying no to Religious Freedom Restoration Acts Last month, as co-chair of the Secular Coalition for Ohio, I had a letter to the editor printed in the Columbus Dispatch about the firestorm over the attempt by Indiana to discriminate against LGBTQ people by using a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Someone who opposed my letter responded to that letter by sending a typed letter to my house. Below is the letter in question and my response.
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Religious School Appeals Zoning Denial To U.S. Court Of Appeals

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logo for Tree of Life schoolsA Christian ministry that wanted to open a school in an office complex they owned, had their appeal heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit last week. They are suing the city of Upper Arlington, Ohio, under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act – which is a cousin to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The RLUIPA is used by religious groups to force cities to change zoning laws that conflict with the group’s religious agenda.
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Marriage Has Been Redefined Before

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crowd shot of Same-sex marriage protests in 2013One of the conservative talking points in opposition to same-sex marriage is that the courts shouldn’t redefine marriage. They claim it has always been between a man and a woman. The problem is marriage has been redefined before, several times. A recent redefinition even contradicts some religious conservative beliefs.
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If Right-Wing Christianity Is On The Decline, Why Am I Not Seeing It In My State House?

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crowd Protesting Indiana's bad religious freedom bill
Crowd protesting Indiana’s bad religious freedom bill March 2015

We are on the cusp of probably seeing same-sex marriage bans joining school mandated prayer in the dust bin of history. The road from DC is looking like an end to religious privilege. The war has instead moved to the state houses around the country where the right-wing is doing all it can to deny basic human dignity and worth by forcing Christianity on the residents of their states.

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