Category: Positive

June 29, 2015
logo for the ACLU

During the recent firestorm over state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) like those passed by Indiana and the use of them to discriminate against LGBT people, one of my conservative friends pointed out many liberals and the ACLU supported the federal RFRA passed in 1993. He implied they were being hypocrites. Late last week the ACLU formally repudiated its support of the RFRA.

The ACLU provided some of the same reasons to remove their support of the RFRA that has been mentioned in previous posts about this issue:

March 9, 2015
October 6, 2014
photo of John Freshwater
John Freshwater

The long drawn out saga of John Freshwater, the Mount Vernon Ohio middle school teacher who was fired for injecting his religious beliefs into his science classes, is officially over after the US Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal from a 2013 Ohio Supreme Court ruling that upheld his termination. Now he can move to the Bible and Chicken Dinner circuit playing the ‘martyr’ he believes he had become.

September 11, 2014
created image that says Don't Say The Pledge

The American Humanist Association (AHA) is starting a new project that I can get behind. Called ‘Don’t Say The Pledge’, the project highlights the original pre-1954 Pledge of Allegiance and argues for the removal of the words ‘Under God’. The AHA is asking people to not say the pledge until it is restored to the original version and I will not be saying the pledge.

July 22, 2014
photo of a Humanist Celebrant performing a marriage

Outside of certain government officials, Ohio state law requires other people who want to officiate marriages to be ‘ordained’ in their religious society or congregation. A bill introduced on June 30th would remove the requirement and make it easier for secular people to perform marriages and have non-theistic weddings.

Representative Mike Foley (D-14) and Representative Robert F. Hagan (D-58) introduced the bill, which would reduce religious entanglement with what is actually a civil act between two people.

January 30, 2014
image of the Secular Summit 2.0 Welcome Sign that greeted participants
Secular Summit 2.0 Welcome Sign Greeted Participants

On January 28th, a bitterly cold Tuesday morning, approximately 20 people gathered for the second annual Secular Summit in the Museum Gallery in the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. The summit was organized and hosted by the Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio (CFI NE Ohio) but included people from the various secular groups in Ohio. In the morning we had several speakers, some training in lobbying, and then the afternoon was when participants visited their Representatives and Senators to introduce themselves and the issues of importance to seculars in the state. The extreme cold couldn’t keep us from talking to the legislature, most of whom have completely opposite views.

The Secular Summit was held in the Museum Gallery on the ground floor of the Ohio State House.