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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President Obama Wins A Landslide From The Religiously Unaffiliated

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created image of a Secular Vote logoPresident Obama carried Religiously Unaffiliated voters 70% to Mitt Romney’s 26% according to a report from The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life exit poll data of the 2012 election. Although the President’s percentage was lower than in 2008, it still continued a trend of the nones supporting the Democratic candidates. The exit poll numbers were larger than a similar election poll in September when the President held a 65 to 27 lead on Romney.
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Mixed Bag For Church-State Issues On Election Night

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created image with text 2012 US ElectionThe big news is that President Barrack Obama won a 2nd term as President. Three states voted to allow same sex marriage. Florida’s Amendment 8 went down to defeat but the only publicly known atheist serving in the Congress lost his race. For those of us who support church and state separation, the 2012 election turned out to be a mixed bag but better than if Mitt Romney had won.
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Voting Locations In Churches Cross Separation Line

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image of Exterior view of a Church used as polling location, showing a anti-abortion sign
Exterior view of a Church used as polling location, showing a anti-abortion sign

While checking out my hometown newspaper Monday I found a listing of the voting locations for the Presidential election on Tuesday November 6th. The thing that bothered me is a majority of the voting locations are located in churches. Back when I was a kid the majority were in schools. I can understand why they don’t have them in the schools today but having them in churches is not a good idea either for a government based on secular principles.
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Billy Graham Electioneers For God

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image of Rev. Billy Graham from his electioneering ad
Rev. Billy Graham

Rev. Billy Graham, or rather his ministry, had a full page ad in the New York Times and other news papers around the country electioneering for god. In the ad, Graham asks people to “cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel.” Graham’s call crosses the line against churches electioneering for candidates.
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Pulpit Freedom Sunday Was A Failure Due To Bureaucracy

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image of the IRS logoAlliance Defending Freedom, which sponsored Pulpit Freedom Sunday on October 7th, claimed over a 1,000 pastors would be taking part in violating the tax laws prohibiting a tax exempt group, such as churches, from electioneering at the pulpit. If the law breaking pastors had done some basic research they would have seen that having a protest now was a waste of time. The IRS suspended investigations of churches in 2009 due to a federal law suit. Basically Pulpit Freedom Sunday was a failure.
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