Tag: Ohio

January 27, 2016 / Courts
screencap of Pastor B.J. Van Aman, Rep. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, and Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville with head bowed in prayer
Pastor B.J. Van Aman of the Pickerington Baptist Temple, Rep. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, and Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville with head bowed in prayer in the Ohio House of Representatives on Tuesday January 26, 2016

Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R) cut off the opening prayer, in the Ohio House of Representatives, Tuesday, after it went past 5 minutes in length. In reviewing the rules for a prayer opening the legislature, it’s clear the prayer should have been stopped much sooner for violating court advised guidelines and not just for length.

January 15, 2016 / Courts
image of Michael Newdow
Michael Newdow

Michael Newdow has a history of lawsuits to support church and state separation. After addressing the phrase ‘Under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance, Newdow recently filed a lawsuit, in Ohio, to have the US Motto ‘In God We Trust’ removed from our currency. The difference this time is he plans on using the same argument Hobby Lobby used to get out of the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Newdow’s strategy is very interesting and looks promising.

In previous cases against the ‘Under God’ phrase and the US motto he has argued about it being a harm to non-believers to be exposed to the obviously religious phrases.

August 4, 2015 / Groups
logo for Put Kids First campaign
Put Kids First: Repeal Non-medical immunization exemptions

Ohio is one of 47 states to have a religious and reasons of conscience exemption to mandatory child immunization. It is those exemptions that led to outbreaks like the measles outbreak last year that reached 21 states including Ohio. The Secular Coalition for America is starting a new campaign to ‘Put Kids First’ by asking state legislatures to repeal non-medical exemptions to immunizations.

July 1, 2015 / Entanglement
old photo of a Fiery Preacher

Soon after the US Supreme Court ruled that LGBT couples could be legally married in all 50 states, many political and religious conservatives lost their minds. Some politicians, like Ohio Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) either don’t understand civil rights or they just really hate not being able to be bigots. Vitale wants to pass a law that will protect pastors from having to perform same-sex weddings which is already covered under the 1st amendment.

June 5, 2015 / Entanglement
logo for the University of Toledo sports teams

Last week I posted about a letter the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent to the President of the University of Toledo complaining about the head football coach Matt Campbell being seen, in a video, leading a prayer before a game in 2012. The Toledo Blade published an editorial, on May 29th, supporting Coach Campbell and I had a letter to the editor published responding to their wrong conclusion.

The Blade editorial seemed to say the only thing wrong was that the prayers were made public when the University posted the video on YouTube.

May 27, 2015 / Entanglement
screencap of Coach Matt Campbell leading prayer at University of Toledo 2012
Coach Matt Campbell leads prayer before a game at the University of Toledo in 2012

Last week, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to the University of Toledo to advise them that their head football coach Matt Campbell violated the 1st amendment by leading his team in prayer before a game in 2012. Coaches, just like any other teacher, should NOT be leading prayers at a public school since the students don’t have a real choice to participate and the coach is making a big assumption that all the players believe the same way he does.