On February 10th I attended Secular Summit 4.0 at the Ohio State House in Columbus. It was hosted by CFI NE Ohio. It was the second lobby day I attended and this time I tried to as prepared as I could be to speak to my representatives. Secular people need to do more in person lobbying of our elected officials in addition to phone calls, written messages, and blog posts.
The Secular Summit is a chance for secular people around Ohio to get together for a morning meeting then in the afternoon we have appointments with our state representatives and senators.
On Wednesday (2/3/2016), President Obama visited a mosque for the first time while in office. I applaud his visit and his remarks against bigotry toward Muslims, but when he talked about religious freedom, people who don’t subscribe to any religion seemed not to be included.
The Center for American Progress (CAP) sees the problem with religious freedom after the Hobby Lobby court decision in 2014. Religious freedom is being used as a weapon to discriminate. CAP has some ideas on how to restore the religious freedom balance. They all sound good.
Pope Francis gave a speech about religious freedom in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. While he made some good points about the importance of religious freedom, any mention of the non-religious was missing. Religious freedom is just as important to secular people as it is to the religious.
Popepalooza hit Philadelphia on Saturday and Pope Francis gave a speech in front of iconic Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both signed. The topic was religious freedom. I was interested to hear what he had to say about it.
Rowan County (KY) Clerk Kim Davis was jailed on Thursday 9/3 after being found in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in her county. She previously lost all of her appeals including a last ditch effort to have the US Supreme Court issue a stay. Of course reaction by the religious right is apocalyptic. The reality is Davis was jailed for not following the law – not for her religious beliefs.
From the Friendly Atheist:
Federal court Judge David L. Bunning ruled against Rowan County Kentucky clerk of courts Kim Davis, Wednesday. Davis had refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the June 26th US Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges decision. The main points are that Davis’ religious freedom isn’t taken away in doing her sworn duty as clerk but her ‘no marriage licenses’ policy injures all residents of Rowan county.
The 28 page decision is full of delicious statements and rebuttals against Kim Davis’ lame arguments against doing her sworn duty. Here are some highlights: