Tag: religious privilege

May 3, 2015 / Courts
logo for Tree of Life schools

A Christian ministry that wanted to open a school in an office complex they owned, had their appeal heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit last week. They are suing the city of Upper Arlington, Ohio, under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act – which is a cousin to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The RLUIPA is used by religious groups to force cities to change zoning laws that conflict with the group’s religious agenda.

Last year, about this time, I posted about a Christian ministry, Tree of Life, who purchased the largest office complex in Upper Arlington. They wanted to run a private school on the site and the city denied their zoning change request several times. Tree of Life sued in federal court.

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:

November 21, 2014 / Courts
image of Bible and stethoscope

Did you know that many states, including Ohio, have religious exemptions for child abuse written into law? Short of killing the child, parents and people having custody of children can harm the health or safety of the child, by violating a duty of care, protection, or support – like refusing to get proper childhood vaccines or in the extreme, refusal of medical treatment for the child – as long as the abuse is due to the person’s religion. There is a new group collecting signatures on an online petition to get that exemption removed.

Here is one of the religious exemptions:

November 16, 2014 / Entanglement
April 30, 2014 / Courts
Logo for Tree of Life Christian Schools

The city of Upper Arlington is a land locked suburb of Columbus Ohio. Because of a lack of room for expansion they have passed ordinances to protect their property tax base by controlling how property can be used. Tree of Life Christian Schools purchased a seven building office complex in 2010 and want to consolidate the private schools they run at the location. Schools are one of the land uses prohibited by the city. Tree of Life sued in federal court and a judge ruled that the religious school wasn’t discriminated against.

February 25, 2014 / Entanglement
image of a snow plow moving snow

This winter has been tough for many of us. Feet of snow and frigid temperatures have gripped the US from the Midwest to the Northeast for much of the winter. Many local governments have been strained to keep the roads clear. Some elections are decided based on how elected officials handle services like plowing snow. How would taxpayers feel if their local government passed an ordinance to plow the parking lots of some local churches? One New York town, Shandaken, did just that and like most actions that support religious privilege, the town leaders don’t see the problem.