Tag Archives: Ohio

Heartbeat Bill Returns In Ohio

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photo of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar
Quiverfull proponents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as props at the heartbeat bill press conference

In 2012, anti-choice groups got a heartbeat bill introduced in the Ohio legislature in an attempt to make abortion technically illegal. The bill was passed in the Ohio House but died in the Senate. This week the heartbeat bill was reintroduced by the same man who introduced it in 2012, Republican state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann of Napoleon. This time they used the celebrity Quiverfull proponents The Duggar Family as props at the press conference. Even after Ohio just enacted some of the most restrictive regulations on abortion in the country, the forced-birth people are back again for more restrictions.
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Church State Group Concerned About Design of Ohio Holocaust Memorial

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photo showing Large Star of David on Ohio Holocaust Memorial design
Large Star of David on Ohio Holocaust Memorial design

Last month, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter of complaint to Ohio State Senator Richard H. Finan over the selected design of the Holocaust memorial that will be built on the grounds of the Ohio State House in downtown Columbus. The design, by Daniel Libeskind, features a large representation of the Star of David, a symbol of the Jewish religion. FFRF rightly points out that the Star of David is a religious symbol and Jews weren’t the only victims of the Holocaust. They are asking for a more inclusive design. There will be a public hearing on July 18th and FFRF is asking for as many secular supporters as possible to show up at the meeting to give voice to their concern. It seems that Senator Finan might be thinking the same thing about the design.
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Religious Extremist Group Protests Church For Not Being Extreme Enough

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logo for Minutemen UnitedMinutemen United is a religious fundamentalist group whose previous claim to fame is supporting illegal religious activities in public schools. Now it seems the group is going after a church for not acting extreme enough toward same-sex marriage and abortion. The group has been protesting at Vineyard Columbus since October 2012. The church filed for a restraining order against the group claiming it was trespassing on church property. Minutemen United is trying to twist the complaint as an attempt to violate their 1st amendment rights while it as all the looks of a publicity stunt.
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Ohio Representative Introduces Law To Give Public School Students Credit For Religious Study

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official photo of Ohio Representative Bill Patmon (D-10)
Ohio Representative Bill Patmon (D-10) wants to give credit for religious study during school time

Ohio House Bill 171, introduced by Representative Bill Patmon (D-10), would allow students to receive credit for studying religion during what is called release time. If passed, Ohio would be the second state to give credit for religious study during the school day. It’s too bad that Rep. Patmon reasons for the law are based on false assumptions and it looks like just an attempt to subvert court decisions that keep church and state separate in public schools.
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Should Religious Liberty Be Used As An Excuse To Hurt People?

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image of Bishop Frederick Campbell leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus Ohio
Bishop Frederick Campbell leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus Ohio

The major conflict in human rights is to balance the rights of all people. You can do whatever you want with your life as long as that action doesn’t hurt others (physically or mentally) and conforms with restrictions from current laws. The basic precept is your rights stop at your neighbors door step. In church and state issues the challenge is to balance religious freedom with the rights set in the US Bill of Rights. In the case of a veteran teacher fired from a Catholic school because it became public she had a same-sex spouse, how far does religious liberty extend.
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How Far Should The State Accommodate Religious Beliefs?

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image showing an Amish Buggy on a road with the slow moving trangle on the backDuring the debate over the government requiring employers to provide coverage for birth control, we’ve heard one argument, false as it is, that in doing so would infringe on religious beliefs. Although that isn’t a valid argument it does bring up the question about how far does a state go to accommodate religious beliefs? The real debate is where is that line between the public good and a person’s beliefs. When can that line be crossed? The simple answer is the line can be crossed when the religious beliefs might harm other people like those needing access to birth control.
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