Category Archives: Politics

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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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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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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The Majority Doesn’t Need Their Religious Freedom Restored

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screencap from Holy GrailIndiana and Arkansas have changed their state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) to make it more explicit that it not be used by businesses to discriminate against LGBTs or others of different beliefs. RFRAs were originally created to protect minority religious beliefs from government overreach, like peyote use by Native Americans, and not to allow the majority religions to selectively honor the civil rights of others.
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Why Do Religious Freedom Restoration Acts Open The Door To Discrimination?

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photo of Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence trying to put lipstick on a pig

In a previous post, I used the title ‘Indiana Ends Fair And Equal Treatment‘ in response to Governor Pence signing a Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. RFRA’s have opened the door to discrimination since the federal version was used in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision back in June.
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