Tag Archives: religious privilege

Why ‘Sticking It To Islam’ Is The Best Solution To Religious Privilege

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cartoon showing a line through a Christmas treeAfter being asked to add an Islamic holiday to its official calendar, a Maryland school board instead decided to remove all religious references from the calendar. Not only was it a slap to Muslims but is actually the best solution to the problem of religious privilege in public.
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Judge Denies Religious School’s Request For Special Treatment

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Logo for Tree of Life Christian SchoolsThe 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.
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New York Town Uses Tax Dollars To Plow Church Parking Lots

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image of a snow plow moving snowThis 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.
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Ohio Exempts Faith Healing from Child Abuse Laws

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image of kid getting ear tweakedRecently a Pennsylvania couple was convicted of allowing a second sick child to die. They tried to use their religion as a defense for refusing to take two of their children to medical professionals. Did you know that Ohio also exempts religious beliefs of the parents from laws meant to protect children? This is the worst kind of religious privilege since it can lead to the death of a child. We need to demand our legislatures remove religious exemptions for child abuse and neglect.
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Great Time At The Ohio Secular Summit

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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.
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Federal Court Rules Religious Housing Tax Exemption Unconstitutional

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logo of the Internal Revenue ServiceOn Friday, November 22nd, a Federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that the ‘parsonage exemption’ which allowed churches to provide housing allowances to ministers tax free was a violation of the 1st amendment of the US Constitution. In the ruling the judge said since the tax exemption had no secular purpose and excluded the non-religious, it was unconstitutional. If the ruling holds up on appeal it would bring some fairness to the tax code for nonprofits and might make some of the televangelists, who own many homes, more accountable for their lavish spending.
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