Tag: bill of rights

December 23, 2015 / Entanglement
image of FFRF Display that scared Texas Gov. Abbott
FFRF Display that scared Gov. Abbott

It didn’t take long for Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a radical Christian, to subjectively decide what is covered under the 1st amendment and what isn’t. He had a display from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) removed from the capitol building after arbitrarily deciding it didn’t meet the criteria for putting up displays in the building.

September 17, 2015 / Entanglement
image of the Bill of Rights title

Today is Constitution Day. This is when we celebrate the date, back in 1787, when delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia. Our Constitution is currently under attack by conservatives who really believe religion should trump the document of democracy and equality. We need to let our members of Congress know that this is a wrong move.

Back in June the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act” was introduced:

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:

September 15, 2012 / Entanglement
image of FRC logo with Hate Group written on it

I’ve written before about the Values Voters Summit, which is sponsored by the hate group Family Research Council (FRC). I really don’t want to waste energy on their hate but I feel an informed voter is a defender of democracy and hate groups like FRC shouldn’t be allowed to fly under the radar. FRC isn’t just a group with different ideas, their ideas are the polar opposite of this country’s values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I don’t like to write these strong words but the Family Research Council’s goals are no different than the goals of the Taliban in Afghanistan. People need to know the truth and need to know about the people who consort with the kind of sedition the FRC calls for in their words and deeds. Voters need to know that people like Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan believes that one’s Christian religious beliefs should trump the US Constitution.

September 10, 2012 / Media
January 10, 2012 / Definitions
image of the logo for Religious Freedom Day

January 16th is National Religious Freedom Day. The day commemorates the Virginia General Assembly’s adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786. The Virginia Statute was the basis of the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution and also can be used to support Jefferson’s idea of the separation of church and state. The Religious Right have of course co-opted the day by mass marketing misleading information about what real religious freedom means in this country. Luckily, Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) has some help available to tell the truth.

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was passed at a time when state support and protection of churches was the norm in what would become the United States. Thomas Jefferson offered the statute as a way to protect the church and the state. It is obvious from reading the text that separating church and state was the goal.