In this episode Doug talks to Nick Little, Legal Director of the Center for Inquiry, about several recent federal court decisions that ignore science and logic to allow churches to ignore public health orders during this pandemic. Where is the irreparable harm from a limit to the number of people allowed to particpate in an in-person church service. Nick explains how this all started with the Hobby Lobby contraceptive case and we will be living with it for some time to come.
Tag: 1st amendment
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Today we have a story from my hometown, Findlay, Ohio. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to the city of Findlay complaining about a mural in the municipal building that included a quote from the Holy Bible. Mayor Lydia Mihalik appeared on the ‘Fox and Friends’ show to double down on the church and state violation the mural is causing and to dare FFRF to sue.
The mural is a large painting on the third floor of the Findlay municipal building that has a Bald Eagle swooping over water with the quote “Under His Wings Shall You Find Refuge Psalm 91”.
A stone marker has sat on the grounds of the Lucas County Courthouse in Toledo, Ohio for the past 60 years. It’s engraved with the 10 Commandments – a set of Christian religious rules. Supporters of the monument claim the commandments are part of our collective legal history so it should remain on the courthouse lawn. In 2006, a federal court agreed. A reasonable person, looking at the full background of how the monument came to be would come to a different conclusion.
The Lucas County Courthouse is located on Adams Street in downtown Toledo. There aren’t many monuments or markers on the grounds but one that caught my eye is a 10 Commandments monument that was donated by a local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1957. The Eagles placed hundreds of markers across the country starting in the late 1940s through the early 1960s. The markers were placed on courthouses, public schools, and public parks.
On July 13th, The House Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill was voted out of committee 31-32 and heads to the full US House of Representatives for consideration. The bill includes a section that would basically eliminate the Johnson amendment enforcement of the tax code against churches opening them up to used as political tools and bribery facilitators.
A recent post-election poll showed that white evangelical Christians are way outside the views of a majority of Americans on a lot of issues. For people interested in keeping the church and state separate, it really isn’t a surprise. How far white evangelicals are outside the majority points to one tough obstacle seculars face – white evangelicals confuse the loss of cultural dominance with oppression. Demanding a level playing field doesn’t take away from people who already have the privilege of sitting at the table.