Tag: Religious Freedom Restoration Act

January 22, 2016 / Courts

The next act of religious conservatives against same-sex marriage, after the US Supreme Court decision, included claiming ‘religious freedom’ to justify continued opposition to it and trying to enact laws allowing them to ignore the court decision. Yet when people like me bring up the use of ‘religious freedom’ also being used to oppose the civil rights struggle for blacks back in the 60s, these same ‘Doctors of Theology’ claim amnesia and say the Bible doesn’t support racism. Their amnesia is at least disingenuous if not dishonest.

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.

June 29, 2015 / Groups
logo for the ACLU

During the recent firestorm over state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) like those passed by Indiana and the use of them to discriminate against LGBT people, one of my conservative friends pointed out many liberals and the ACLU supported the federal RFRA passed in 1993. He implied they were being hypocrites. Late last week the ACLU formally repudiated its support of the RFRA.

The ACLU provided some of the same reasons to remove their support of the RFRA that has been mentioned in previous posts about this issue:

May 21, 2015 / Courts
painting of The Puritans landing in America
The Puritans

In the national debate over religious freedom and Religious Freedom Restoration Acts passed in some states, it’s important to define our terms. Religious freedom means one thing to religious conservatives and another thing for progressives who support church and state separation. I don’t know if it’s good to know the debate has been going on since the founding of this country.

Sheila Suess Kennedy at the Indianapolis Business Journal had a post about the history of religious freedom:

May 12, 2015 / Entanglement
created image saying no to Religious Freedom Restoration Acts

Last month, as co-chair of the Secular Coalition for Ohio, I had a letter to the editor printed in the Columbus Dispatch about the firestorm over the attempt by Indiana to discriminate against LGBTQ people by using a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Someone who opposed my letter responded to that letter by sending a typed letter to my house. Below is the letter in question and my response.

It should be noted that my response was mailed to the address on the envelope but was returned back to me, unopened – addressee unknown. It really doesn’t help your cause if you use a fake address or refuse to be responded to using the same method you used to rant at me.

April 24, 2015 / Courts
crowd Protesting Indiana's bad religious freedom bill
Crowd protesting Indiana’s bad religious freedom bill March 2015

We are on the cusp of probably seeing same-sex marriage bans joining school mandated prayer in the dust bin of history. The road from DC is looking like an end to religious privilege. The war has instead moved to the state houses around the country where the right-wing is doing all it can to deny basic human dignity and worth by forcing Christianity on the residents of their states.


In a Salon article, Evan McMurry, from AlterNet, detailed at least four areas the right-wing religious conservatives are flexing what muscles they have left: