Tag Archives: Freedom from Religion

Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years?

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image of a guy behind bars with text Church or Jail on top of itOklahoma District Court Judge Mike Norman sentenced a teen offender to attend church as part of his probation in a manslaughter case from a car crash. According to the report, this isn’t the first time the Judge has forced church attendance on an offender and he gloats about it. What he doesn’t believe is that it might be illegal? If treated like cases where people were required to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings which are religious in nature, then the judge is wrong in his view of the law and the teen’s rights were violated.
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Atheist billboard removed after church gets the vapors

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After only a week, one of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) billboards placed in Columbus was removed after a church complained about it. Yes, we have to see church propaganda all the time but a church gets the vapors about an inoffensive billboard and the owner removes it quickly. Can you say Christian privilege?
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Breaking News – Freedom From Religion Foundation sues President Bush

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Just saw this on the intertubes…. more on this in coming days — dlb

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The nation’s largest group of atheists and agnostics is suing President Bush, the governor of Wisconsin and other officials over the federal law designating a National Day of Prayer.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sued Friday in U.S. district court, arguing that the president’s mandated proclamations calling on Americans to pray violates a constitutional ban on government officials endorsing religion.

The day of prayer, held each year on the first Thursday of May, creates a “hostile environment for nonbelievers, who are made to feel as if they are political outsiders,” the lawsuit said.

The national proclamation issued this year asked God’s blessings on our country and called for Americans to observe the day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle is named in the suit because he is one of 50 governors who issued proclamations calling for the prayer day. The foundation is based in Madison.

Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, and White House press secretary Dana Perino also are named.

The foundation has filed numerous lawsuits in recent years, including one rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court last year that attacked President Bush’s faith-based initiative.

Doyle spokesman Lee Sensenbrenner had no comment on the lawsuit. Messages seeking comment from the task force and the White House were not returned Friday.

Atheist group sues Bush over national prayer day

White House Religious Office Wins on Technicality

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The first court challenge to President Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives ended on a technicality according to the US Supreme Court. It said that since the funding wasn’t from Congress then the public have no standing to challenge it. The case is named Hein v. Freedom from Religion.

The OFBCI was created by executive order in 2001, shortly after President Bush took office. Its Web site says it was designed to ensure that “private and charitable community groups, including religious ones, should have the fullest opportunity permitted by law to compete on a level playing field in the field of providing social services.”

A year earlier, the Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a federal lawsuit challenging OFBCI’s spending authority. Money for the office does not come from a direct congressional expenditure, but from the White House’s general “discretionary” fund.

Court permits White House outreach to religious charities

That was the excuse the court used to avoid the issue.

Alito said since Congress did not specifically authorize how the White House should fund its “day-to-day activities,” such expenditures were subject only to the executive’s discretion.

Taxpayers, he said, “set out a parade of horribles that they claim could occur” by allowing such faith-based funding to continue, suggesting the federal government could build a national house of worship, or buy Jewish Stars of David and distribute them to public employees.

“Of course none of these things has happened,” said Alito, and “in the unlikely event that any of these executive actions did take place, Congress could quickly step in.”

Would they really? Most of the same congress that fell over themselves to recite the pledge of allegiance under God when the 9th Circuit court ruled that “under god” in the pledge was unconstitutional in 2002 or the same Congress that agreed to create a national park to preserve a Christian cross in 2006?

The same Congress that caved to a President with only a 28% approval rating over a so-called time table for bringing our men and women back from Iraq?

Uh…. okay…. whatever you say Alito.

Americans United had this to say:

“This is a disappointing decision that blocks the courthouse door for Americans with legitimate church-state grievances,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Taxpayers should be allowed to challenge public funding of religion, whether the money is allocated by Congress or the White House.”

Supreme Court Ruling Blocks Courthouse Door For Some ‘Faith-Based’ Lawsuits, Says Americans United

NoGodBlog said:

Folks, this is very bad news. It gives immunity to the President to break the law (it’s not breaking the law anymore) by simply choosing to give money to religious institutions, but not secular ones. This case may change everything. We can’t stop the huge gush of tax money going to churches, we don’t even have the right to sue.

FFRF Loses major case in Supreme Court

Read the decision: Hein v. Freedom from Religion (2007)