Category: History

May 13, 2016 / / Courts
image of Former Ohio Governor George Voinovich poses in 1998 with the state seal and motto he had installed at the Statehouse
Former Ohio Governor George Voinovich poses in 1998 with the state seal and motto he had installed at the Statehouse

While cleaning out some old files, I came across a 1998 newspaper clipping that opposed the use of the Ohio state motto, ‘With God All Things Are Possible‘, as a lawn decoration at the statehouse. ACLU of Ohio v. Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board was the first separation of church and state case I followed closely. I published handcrafted web pages that included some thoughts about the case and the text of newspaper clippings from the time. Even 20 years later, the Ohio state motto is still religious.

Back in mid 90s, the Ohio Governor at the time, George Voinovich, had seen religious messages engraved onto government buildings while on a trade trip to India. He thought since the Ohio state house was getting a massive restoration at the time that it would be a good idea to engrave our religous state motto, ‘With God All Things Are Possible’, on the building.

January 22, 2016 / / Courts

The next act of religious conservatives against same-sex marriage, after the US Supreme Court decision, included claiming ‘religious freedom’ to justify continued opposition to it and trying to enact laws allowing them to ignore the court decision. Yet when people like me bring up the use of ‘religious freedom’ also being used to oppose the civil rights struggle for blacks back in the 60s, these same ‘Doctors of Theology’ claim amnesia and say the Bible doesn’t support racism. Their amnesia is at least disingenuous if not dishonest.

January 3, 2016 / / Courts
July 30, 2015 / / Courts
image of theMount Soledad Cross

It was reported last week that the Federal government passed a law that allowed the land underneath the Mount Soledad Cross in San Diego to be sold to a private Christian front group. The sale seems to bring an end to a 26 year court battle to have the cross removed from a public park. The case and end result shows how hard some religious conservatives will fight for their privilege and for their symbols. It is a sad day for the 1st Amendment.

The Friendly Atheist has the latest:

May 21, 2015 / / Courts
painting of The Puritans landing in America
The Puritans

In the national debate over religious freedom and Religious Freedom Restoration Acts passed in some states, it’s important to define our terms. Religious freedom means one thing to religious conservatives and another thing for progressives who support church and state separation. I don’t know if it’s good to know the debate has been going on since the founding of this country.

Sheila Suess Kennedy at the Indianapolis Business Journal had a post about the history of religious freedom:

April 30, 2015 / / Courts