Category Archives: Religious Intolerance

University Of Toledo Football Coach Caught Leading Prayers

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screencap of Coach Matt Campbell leading prayer at University of Toledo 2012
Coach Matt Campbell leads prayer before a game at the University of Toledo in 2012

Last week, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to the University of Toledo to advise them that their head football coach Matt Campbell violated the 1st amendment by leading his team in prayer before a game in 2012. Coaches, just like any other teacher, should NOT be leading prayers at a public school since the students don’t have a real choice to participate and the coach is making a big assumption that all the players believe the same way he does.
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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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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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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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