Group Claims Health And Safety Laws Would Violate Religious Freedom

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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.
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President Includes Atheists On Religious Freedom Day

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created image of a wall between words Church and StateToday is Religious Freedom Day and President Obama issued a Proclamation to honor the day. The text included atheists as part of the religious diversity and cultural fabric of the United States. He also mentioned the important thing isn’t someone’s faith but that we all should support freedom, equality, justice, and separation of church and state.
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Classic Freak Out Over Challenge To Christian Privilege In Oklahoma

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Rendering of proposed Satanic monument in Oklahoma
Uncle Baphomet, tell us a story?

Christians in Oklahoma are freaking out over a request by members of the Satanist religion to erect a monument to their religion on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capital next to a 10 Commandments monument. The Christians are upset about the attack on their privilege but it shows another good reason why government property should be free of any religious trappings. You either accept all religions or none of them. The Christians only have themselves to blame for the divisiveness.
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Ohio’s Jesus Painting Protection Act Could Allow Discrimination, Child Abuse And Sharia Law

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image of actual text of the Bill of RightsThis week House Bill 376 was introduced in the Ohio legislature. I call it the ‘Jesus Painting Protection Act’ but the formal name is ‘Ohio Religious Freedom Restoration Act’. It creates special rights for the ‘religious’ to avoid any law or act by the state or local governments if it is a ‘burden’ on a person’s religious beliefs. This dangerous law could leave children unprotected from abuse, allow discrimination in areas way beyond just same sex marriage, and allow Sharia Law.
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Hobby Lobby Claims Religious Freedom By Denying Religious Freedom Of Employees

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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.
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Federal Court Rules Religious Housing Tax Exemption Unconstitutional

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logo of the Internal Revenue ServiceOn Friday, November 22nd, a Federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that the ‘parsonage exemption’ which allowed churches to provide housing allowances to ministers tax free was a violation of the 1st amendment of the US Constitution. In the ruling the judge said since the tax exemption had no secular purpose and excluded the non-religious, it was unconstitutional. If the ruling holds up on appeal it would bring some fairness to the tax code for nonprofits and might make some of the televangelists, who own many homes, more accountable for their lavish spending.
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