Tag: Ohio

December 17, 2014 / Entanglement
photo of Ohio Gov Kasich
Ohio Governor John Kasich

A new Ohio law gave tax money to groups who mentored public school children, which is a good thing. However Gov. Kasich decided to force mentoring programs to partner with faith-based groups. Kasich believes, wrongly, that the public school should be where children get their religious education.

House Bill 483 was ‘legislation that makes appropriation changes and minor policy changes as part of the Mid-Biennial Review (MBR), a package of bills that strives to initiate reforms to state spending, agency operations, and state policies and programs.’ Tucked inside HB 483 was a new program called “Career Advising And Mentoring Program” that would grant tax payer money to groups who helped mentor public school children.

October 6, 2014 / Anti-science
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.

July 22, 2014 / Entanglement
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 / Entanglement
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.

December 5, 2013 / Entanglement
image of actual text of the Bill of Rights

This 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.

One reason given for the introduction of the bill was the recent removal of Jesus paintings from two public schools here in Ohio.

November 19, 2013 / Anti-science
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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.