Using Zoning Laws To Protect Religious Privilege

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photo of the inside of a strip club
I’m sure there are plenty of believers in a strip club

One tool local governments use to protect religious privilege are zoning laws. They are regulations that spell out what people can and can’t do with their property. Many zoning regulations specifically spell out protections for religious property like churches while other zoning laws are used more subtly like getting a Zombie Nativity removed.
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Governor Kasich’s Stealth Religious Tactics Draw Complaints

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photo of Ohio Gov Kasich
Ohio Governor John Kasich

A new Ohio law gave tax money to groups who mentored public school children, which is a good thing. However Gov. Kasich decided to force mentoring programs to partner with faith-based groups. Kasich believes, wrongly, that the public school should be where children get their religious education.
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Group Starts Petition To Remove Ohio’s Religious Exemption For Child Abuse

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image of Bible and stethoscopeDid you know that many states, including Ohio, have religious exemptions for child abuse written into law? Short of killing the child, parents and people having custody of children can harm the health or safety of the child, by violating a duty of care, protection, or support – like refusing to get proper childhood vaccines or in the extreme, refusal of medical treatment for the child – as long as the abuse is due to the person’s religion. There is a new group collecting signatures on an online petition to get that exemption removed.
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Why ‘Sticking It To Islam’ Is The Best Solution To Religious Privilege

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cartoon showing a line through a Christmas treeAfter being asked to add an Islamic holiday to its official calendar, a Maryland school board instead decided to remove all religious references from the calendar. Not only was it a slap to Muslims but is actually the best solution to the problem of religious privilege in public.
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Vandalism Is Not The Best Way To Deal With Church And State Violations

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image of the Athens County Ohio CourthouseOhioan Eliot Kalman intention was good but his actions in protesting an obvious church and state violation was wrong. Kalman put large stickers over a church directory in a county courthouse. While law breaking can sometimes help draw attention to civil rights violations, vandalism is almost never a good way to protest. Damaging property doesn’t win you any friends and makes the people who are the target of the protest more defensive.
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Hobby Lobby’s Idea Of Religious Freedom Isn’t Really Religious Freedom

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photo of Steve Green President of Hobby Lobby
Steve Green, President of Hobby Lobby

Contrary to the views of Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, who spoke at a religious freedom summit at Cedarville University last week, standing up for his form of religious freedom would be imposing his beliefs on others.
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