Category Archives: Courts

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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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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Missouri House of Worship Protection Act Unconstitutional

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clipart of scales of justiceIt was reported today (March 9th), that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that due to speech content restrictions the Missouri House of Worship Protection Act (2012) was unconstiutional.
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Alabama Judge Roy Moore Hates Same Sex Marriage Enough To Violate His Oath Of Office

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file photo of Judge Roy Moore with his 10 Commandments monument
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in happier times when he thought he could force his religion on others

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is no stranger to violating his oath of office when it comes to his religious views. This time the line he’s drawn is same-sex marriage. He hates it. In an interview he tried to equate same-sex marriage with slavery to describe how wrong it is. This is why we need separation of church and state. Religious views shouldn’t trump civil rights or federal court decisions.
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