Oklahoma ten commandments monument gets reprieve

An Oklahoma county judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of a Baptist minister charging that the 6-foot tall granite Ten Commandments monument that was placed on grounds of the state capital violated the state’s constitution. The judge blocked the lawsuit from even going to trial. The ruling will be appealed to the state supreme court and there is another lawsuit pending in a federal court that is scheduled for trial on March 10, 2015.
[Read more...]

Gay friendly mosque opens in South Africa

Islam is one of those religions that is highly disapproving of homosexuality, forcing members of the LGBT community deep into the closet in order to avoid persecution or even death in some countries. So I was interested to read about the opening of a pro-gay mosque in Cape Town, South Africa that also treated men and women equally and where women will be allowed to lead prayers.
[Read more...]

Rejecting political pandering

It is very hard for local governments to resist religious pandering, especially when it is combined with patriotic pandering. All it takes is for one elected official to propose something like putting up the Ten Commandments or starting meetings with a prayer or the Pledge of Allegiance (with the words ‘under god’ added of course) and this puts other members in a bind. Even if they think the idea is stupid, offensive, or even unconstitutional, few want to speak out against it for fear of being labeled anti-religious or unpatriotic. This is why most such practices end up having to be litigated, wasting everyone’s time and money.
[Read more...]

God’s help no longer needed to sign up for the Air Force

As a result of the fuss about the person who was not allowed to re-enlist in the Air Force because he struck out the words ‘so help me God’ in the oath, the Air Force has reversed course and said that saying those words are no longer required, thus bringing it into line with the other military branches. The American Humanist Association had vowed to sue if the policy was not changed.
[Read more...]

The fallout from Hobby Lobby

The Hobby Lobby case, where the US Supreme court ruled that under some vaguely defined circumstances, owners of companies had right to impose their religious views as company policies as if the companies were individuals under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), was widely predicted to open up a Pandora’s box with others seeking similar exemptions from following the law because of their ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’.

And lo, what the prophets foretold has come to pass.
[Read more...]