Tag: religious discrimination

December 31, 2012 / Courts
clipart showing scales of justice to represent a court of law

Citizens United was a US Supreme Court decision in 2010 that said corporations had free speech rights like individuals. On Friday, 12/28, judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that corporations, citing Citizens United, could have religious freedom rights like an individual. If the ruling stands or in the future the US Supreme Court agrees, then a Pandora’s box will be opened where businesses could be allowed to discriminate based on religious beliefs.

September 30, 2012 / Events
image showing protest signs in Malaysia
Protests by Malaysia Muslims over Innocence Of Muslims film September 2012

September 30th is designated as International Blasphemy Rights Day. This is when we bring awareness to efforts to censor dissent using the false cover of “protecting religious beliefs”. Although very rare in the US, jail time and even death comes to people deemed to have committed Blasphemy. In the US, public bullying sometimes results in “voluntary” self-censorship. Blasphemy laws are bad for freedom. A vibrant society needs and allows dissent in all forms so that the people are able to make informed choices in their lives. And how tolerant we are of dissent says a lot about how we view our country and our freedoms.

What is blasphemy? The dictionary says:

July 17, 2012 / Entanglement
image of Secular Student Alliance logo

On Monday July 16th, JT Eberhard, campus organizer and high school specialist for the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), posted about a letter SSA had received where an uninformed teacher had gloated about preventing students at the high school where he worked from forming a chapter of the SSA. Eberhard posted the contents of a letter he e-mailed to the administration of that high school and it points out in detail why the teacher’s actions are illegal not to mention bigoted. Just image the uproar if the teacher had done what he did to students wanting to form a religious group.

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.

June 25, 2011 / Entanglement

The good news is that the New York state legislature finally approved a law that will allow same sex marriage. The bad news is that in order for this great thing to happen, changes in the law will allow religious sects AND the non-church businesses they operate to discriminate against gays without any legal repercussions. In the zeal to get these new rights for the LGBT community, did proponents give away the farm?

From the NY Times:

August 9, 2010 / Entanglement

For some odd reason the media has decided to focus on a small fringe of morons who get their “news” and “information” from FOX “News” or conservative talk radio. One of the idiotic messages the moron club is passing around is that all Muslims are terrorists looking to take over America and force Sharia law on all of us. These geniuses have taken to protesting the building of new Mosques. These people need a civics refresher.