I was going to write a long winded post about the ‘Religious Freedom’ law signed by Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence today but I decided Brandan Robertson, on his blog Revangelical, made the kind of point I would be making. Basically, laws like Indiana’s ‘Religious Freedom’ law makes a mockery out of ideals of fair and equal treatment that evolved from the civil rights struggle.
Here is an official photo of the private signing ceremony. Governor Pence is seated at the desk. We know Catholics are well represented but where are the atheists and Muslims? Continue reading →
The director of operations of a Subway franchisee, in West Virginia, sent letters to several churches and congregations saying his company was “in need of Christian employees.” I’m sure some people will not see the problem with such a letter, after all a business should be able to make hiring decisions that prefer a particular group of people. Some may think the guy was just trying to reach out to a segment of people to recruit more workers. The problem is that such outreach is actually against state and federal law. Continue reading →
Citizens United was a US Supreme Court decision in 2010 that said corporations had free speech rights like individuals. On Friday, 12/28, judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that corporations, citing Citizens United, could have religious freedom rights like an individual. If the ruling stands or in the future the US Supreme Court agrees, then a Pandora’s box will be opened where businesses could be allowed to discriminate based on religious beliefs. Continue reading →
Protests by Malaysia Muslims over Innocence Of Muslims film September 2012
September 30th is designated as International Blasphemy Rights Day. This is when we bring awareness to efforts to censor dissent using the false cover of “protecting religious beliefs”. Although very rare in the US, jail time and even death comes to people deemed to have committed Blasphemy. In the US, public bullying sometimes results in “voluntary” self-censorship. Blasphemy laws are bad for freedom. A vibrant society needs and allows dissent in all forms so that the people are able to make informed choices in their lives. And how tolerant we are of dissent says a lot about how we view our country and our freedoms. Continue reading →
On Monday July 16th, JT Eberhard, campus organizer and high school specialist for the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), posted about a letter SSA had received where an uninformed teacher had gloated about preventing students at the high school where he worked from forming a chapter of the SSA. Eberhard posted the contents of a letter he e-mailed to the administration of that high school and it points out in detail why the teacher’s actions are illegal not to mention bigoted. Just image the uproar if the teacher had done what he did to students wanting to form a religious group. Continue reading →
January 16th is National Religious Freedom Day. The day commemorates the Virginia General Assembly’s adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786. The Virginia Statute was the basis of the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution and also can be used to support Jefferson’s idea of the separation of church and state. The Religious Right have of course co-opted the day by mass marketing misleading information about what real religious freedom means in this country. Luckily, Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) has some help available to tell the truth. Continue reading →