Category Archives: Courts

The John Freshwater Saga Is Now Officially Over!!!

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photo of John Freshwater
John Freshwater

The long drawn out saga of John Freshwater, the Mount Vernon Ohio middle school teacher who was fired for injecting his religious beliefs into his science classes, is officially over after the US Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal from a 2013 Ohio Supreme Court ruling that upheld his termination. Now he can move to the Bible and Chicken Dinner circuit playing the ‘martyr’ he believes he had become.
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Look Out! Pulpit Freedom Sunday Is Nigh!

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logo for Pulpit Freedom Sunday eventThis Sunday, October 5th, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday will take place. They claim it’s about religious freedom when in fact it’s about creating a lawsuit they can use to try and get tax regulations against electioneering by churches tossed out as unconstitutional. Finally, this year they might get their lawsuit.
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Is Justice Scalia Warming To Separation Of Church And State?

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Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the members of the conservative block on the United States Supreme Court, gave a speech Wednesday where he seemed to be supporting the separation of church and state. Which is odd because he has been one of the justices who wants to limit the scope of the 1st amendment so narrowly that it really means nothing. Is Justice Scalia warming to separation of church and state?
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Ohio Law Allowing Creationism Into Public Schools Sets Up A Dover Trap

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clipart of science items The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) reported on August 19th that Ohio Representatives Andy Thompson (R-95) and Matt Huffman (R-4) introduced House Bill 597 to repeal Ohio’s participation in the Common Core curriculum. Even with recent changes, it includes language that would allow creationism and climate change denial to be taught in the public schools.
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Town That Won Invocation Court Case May Exclude Atheists Anyway

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image of people on a town council prayingThe plaintiff in the precedent setting US Supreme Court case, Town of Greece v. Galloway, recently developed and adopted guidelines in choosing the person or people who could give invocations at the start of their meetings. Unfortunately it looks like the town ignored the courts prohibition on discrimination. The guidelines seem to exclude the nonreligious from being chosen to lead their pre-meeting invocations.
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Enforcing Church Electioneering Rules Doesn’t Violate The First Amendment

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clipart of a minister preaching from a pulpitLast month I posted about a settlement between the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over policing electioneering by churches. The IRS had for years dragged its feet in investigating complaints about churches violating the terms of the tax exemption rules by getting too political. Of course conservatives now claim, with the settlement, that a church’s first amendment rights will be violated. Such a claim is utter hogwash.
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