Tag Archives: Ohio

The John Freshwater Saga Is Now Officially Over!!!

Posted on by
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.
Continue reading

Ohio Bill Introduced To Allow Any Person To Solemnize Marriages

Posted on by

photo of a Humanist Celebrant performing a marriageOutside 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.
Continue reading

Great Time At The Ohio Secular Summit

Posted on by
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.
Continue reading

Ohio’s Jesus Painting Protection Act Could Allow Discrimination, Child Abuse And Sharia Law

Posted on by

image of actual text of the Bill of RightsThis week House Bill 376 was introduced in the Ohio legislature. I call it the ‘Jesus Painting Protection Act’ but the formal name is ‘Ohio Religious Freedom Restoration Act’. It creates special rights for the ‘religious’ to avoid any law or act by the state or local governments if it is a ‘burden’ on a person’s religious beliefs. This dangerous law could leave children unprotected from abuse, allow discrimination in areas way beyond just same sex marriage, and allow Sharia Law.
Continue reading

Proselytizing Teacher’s Firing Upheld By Ohio Supreme Court

Posted on by
?
John Freshwater

In probably the last gasp for Mount Vernon, Ohio’s proselytizing teacher, John Freshwater, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled 4-3 today that his termination for insubordination was correct. In addition the court ruled that Freshwater had his rights violated when the school district demanded he remove his personal Bible from his classroom desk but that his additional actions in defying that order was enough to justify removing him.
Continue reading

Couple Of Proposed Ohio Laws Give Students Cover For Religiously Based Bigotry

Posted on by

Outline of State of Ohio with a Latin Cross on topSince I’ve started working with the Secular Coalition for Ohio, I’ve been getting updates on proposed laws in the Ohio legislature that could be at odds with the separation of church and state. House Bills 303 and 304 were referred to committee in October and if passed by the Republican controlled state house, each would give students in public schools cover for religiously based bigotry not normally allowed.
Continue reading