Category Archives: Politics

New York Town Uses Tax Dollars To Plow Church Parking Lots

Posted on by

image of a snow plow moving snowThis winter has been tough for many of us. Feet of snow and frigid temperatures have gripped the US from the Midwest to the Northeast for much of the winter. Many local governments have been strained to keep the roads clear. Some elections are decided based on how elected officials handle services like plowing snow. How would taxpayers feel if their local government passed an ordinance to plow the parking lots of some local churches? One New York town, Shandaken, did just that and like most actions that support religious privilege, the town leaders don’t see the problem.
Continue reading

Ohio Exempts Faith Healing from Child Abuse Laws

Posted on by

image of kid getting ear tweakedRecently a Pennsylvania couple was convicted of allowing a second sick child to die. They tried to use their religion as a defense for refusing to take two of their children to medical professionals. Did you know that Ohio also exempts religious beliefs of the parents from laws meant to protect children? This is the worst kind of religious privilege since it can lead to the death of a child. We need to demand our legislatures remove religious exemptions for child abuse and neglect.
Continue reading

Great Time At The Ohio Secular Summit

Posted on by
image of the Secular Summit 2.0 Welcome Sign that greeted participants
Secular Summit 2.0 Welcome Sign Greeted Participants

On January 28th, a bitterly cold Tuesday morning, approximately 20 people gathered for the second annual Secular Summit in the Museum Gallery in the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. The summit was organized and hosted by the Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio (CFI NE Ohio) but included people from the various secular groups in Ohio. In the morning we had several speakers, some training in lobbying, and then the afternoon was when participants visited their Representatives and Senators to introduce themselves and the issues of importance to seculars in the state. The extreme cold couldn’t keep us from talking to the legislature, most of whom have completely opposite views.
Continue reading

Group Claims Health And Safety Laws Would Violate Religious Freedom

Posted on by

clipart of a teacher reading to a classIt’s pretty common for religious groups to ask for exemptions from laws. The argument they use is if the group has to comply with the law it would infringe on their freedom of religion. You wouldn’t think they would use such an excuse to avoid health and safety laws. You especially wouldn’t think they would want an exemption from health and safety laws covering child day care centers? Yes, a religious group, in Indiana, is choosing religious freedom over the health and safety of children.
Continue reading

Hobby Lobby Claims Religious Freedom By Denying Religious Freedom Of Employees

Posted on by

image of classic birth control pill packThe big news this past week was the US Supreme Court said it would hear two cases that challenge the contraceptive requirement in the Affordable Care Act. Two companies, operated by devout religious people, claim that having to provide health insurance to their employees that would pay for contraceptives violates their religious freedom under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The companies claim religious freedom by denying the religious freedom of their employees.
Continue reading

Couple Of Proposed Ohio Laws Give Students Cover For Religiously Based Bigotry

Posted on by

Outline of State of Ohio with a Latin Cross on topSince I’ve started working with the Secular Coalition for Ohio, I’ve been getting updates on proposed laws in the Ohio legislature that could be at odds with the separation of church and state. House Bills 303 and 304 were referred to committee in October and if passed by the Republican controlled state house, each would give students in public schools cover for religiously based bigotry not normally allowed.
Continue reading