The continuing struggle over vaccinations

The efforts to fight polio vaccination in some Muslim-majority countries has been a scandal, fueled by a mixture of wrong-headed beliefs by some Muslim clerics about the effect of vaccines and by fears that it is part of some kind of plot by the CIA and other western spy agencies. The latter charge gained credibility because of the shameful use by the US of a fake vaccination scheme to try and find Osama bin Laden but even then there is absolutely no excuse for harassing or murdering workers administering vaccines or preventing children from receiving one of the greatest medical breakthroughs that has eradicated a deadly disease from almost the entire world.
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Baphomet the superhero

On Monday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected an attempt by Mary Fallin, the Republican governor of the state, to reconsider its earlier ruling that the presence of the Ten Commandments monument on the capital grounds violated the state constitution and had to be removed, with the chief justice John Reif writing, “We carefully consider the arguments of the commission and find no merit warranting a grant of rehearing.”
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Baphomet finds a home

The statue of Baphomet that the Satanic Temple wanted to place alongside the monument to the Ten Commandments on the Oklahoma capital grounds needed to find a new home after the state Supreme Court ruled that the monument was unconstitutional and needed to come down. They unveiled the one-ton statue in Detroit to the cheers of hundreds of supporters who had been emailed tickets to the event at a location that was kept secret until the end to prevent protestors.
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No one can accuse the religious right of being consistent

When the same-sex marriage ruling came out, some of the opponents whined that as a result, those who opposed same-sex marriage because of their religious beliefs would be treated as pariahs and hounded when all they wanted was to be left alone to believe as they wished. Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito contributed to that sense of possible future victimhood in his dissent of the ruling outlawing the state bans on same-sex marriage inObergefell v. Hodges.
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Clerk sued for refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

As was inevitable, someone has been taken to court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and using god as a defense. In a US district court, Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, got all teary-eyed as she explained why her faith required her to deny couples a right they were entitled to by law. (This Davis is different from Casey Davis, a clerk in another county who also refuses to issue licenses.)
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Bad nuns

Of all the elements that make up the Catholic church in the US, I am most sympathetic towards the nuns. In their modern incarnation, they seem to do genuine good works among the poor and needy and seem less interested in pushing the church’s official positions against contraception, abortion, and homosexuality, for which lack of zeal they were reprimanded and placed under investigation by pope Benedict though pope Francis has quietly shelved that process.
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Church of Cannabis on a roll

The Indianapolis-based Church of Cannabis is giving the New York-based Satanic Temple a run for its money in showing the absurdity of providing all manner of breaks for religious organizations. We already saw that they filed for and were granted tax-exempt status by the IRS. They then filed a lawsuit for the right to use cannabis, using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as the basis for their suit.
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Using RFRA to legalize marijuana use

We have seen how religious individuals and groups are using the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and state versions of it to try and avoid complying with laws that they feel infringe on their religious beliefs, such as issuing same-sex marriage licenses or providing contraceptive benefits in health insurance polices or selling various goods and services to the public.
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