Home » Archives by category » Church and State

In Arizona, A U.S. Senate Candidate Is Getting Harassed For Her Faith

Rokia Hassanein Wall of Separation A Muslim candidate running for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona found herself facing an ugly reality since announcing her candidacy: Islamophobic attacks on social media. Islamophobia, Arizona, U.S. Senate, 2018 Primaries, Deedra Abboud, President Donald J. Trump, Rhetoric, Hate Groups, Social Media

Rob Boston Wall of Separation Ken Ham, the Australian creationist who decided to build a replica of Noah’s Ark on the backs of Kentucky’s taxpayers, may have finally gone too far. Ark Encounter, Ark Park, Ken Ham, Noah’s Ark, creationism, kentucky, Leigh Powers, Kentucky Tourism Cabinet, Williamstown, Grant County

Continue reading …

Written by Don Byrd

If you haven’t already participated in the Know Your Neighbor campaign, this is a great week to learn more about it and get involved. The short version is: Know Your Neighbor is a multi-faith effort to encourage dialogue and understanding across religious, ethnic, and cultural divides.

The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty is a participant in this campaign because “hate rhetoric and violence targeting religious minorities is as much a threat to religious liberty as any law or public policy.” As citizens charged with maintaining our democracy, we can help increase empathy and break down stereotypes by simply opening lines of communication. That’s where you come in.

Make a personal video or share a story using social media. Even in 140 characters, you can share something about yourself and invite interfaith dialogue in a tweet. When you post, use the hashtag #KnowYourNeighbor. And tag the BJC (@BJContheHill)!

What do you want your neighbors to know about you? What personal experience changed the way you think about your neighbors or the way they think about you? Why is interfaith work and dialogue important to you? Let people know in a short video or social media post.

For more inspiration, check out …read more

Continue reading …

AU Urges New Jersey Supreme Court To Prevent Morris County Tax Dollars From Funding Houses Of Worship

Comments Off on AU Urges New Jersey Supreme Court To Prevent Morris County Tax Dollars From Funding Houses Of Worship

Liz Hayes Wall of Separation Americans United this week urged the New Jersey Supreme Court to stop Morris County officials from awarding taxpayer-funded grants to houses of worship. Since 2012, Morris County has distributed more than $4.5 million in tax revenue to a dozen active churches through an historical preservation program. These grants are in […]

Continue reading …

The Texas Legislature Is Meeting For A Special Session And Has A Second Chance To Pass Bad Legislation

Comments Off on The Texas Legislature Is Meeting For A Special Session And Has A Second Chance To Pass Bad Legislation

Rokia Hassanein Wall of Separation The Texas legislature’s regular session ended just weeks ago, but lawmakers are already back in Austin for a special session. Governor Greg Abbott (R) was forced to call the special session after the state legislature failed to adopt must-pass legislation during the regulation session: in a dramatic stand-off, the Senate […]

Continue reading …

House Narrowly Defeats Proposal Requiring Pentagon to Investigate Islam

Comments Off on House Narrowly Defeats Proposal Requiring Pentagon to Investigate Islam

Written by Don Byrd

Last week, the U.S. House debated and narrowly defeated a proposal to require the Pentagon to investigate “Islamic religious doctrines” that may contribute to terrorism. The measure, offered by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, was defeated 217-208, led by a sharp critique of the idea from Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN).

Politico reports:

“If you have an amendment that says we’re going to study one religion and only one, we’re going to look at their leaders and put them on a list — only them — and you are going to talk about what’s orthodox practice and what’s unorthodox, then you are putting extra scrutiny on that religion,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is Muslim.

Ellison, who met with Franks to try to persuade him to withdraw the proposal, added: “You are abridging the free exercise of that religion. This is the wrong way to do what he’s trying to do.”

Franks defended his idea during an interview Thursday evening and said Friday he would work with his colleagues to try to modify it so it will pass eventually.

The Nation’s John Nichols has more of …read more

Continue reading …

Ole Miss head football coach resigns amid scandal—FFRF not surprised

Comments Off on Ole Miss head football coach resigns amid scandal—FFRF not surprised

University of Mississippi’s head football coach, Hugh Freeze was forced to resign Thursday night after an investigation by school officials revealed a “pattern” of phone calls from the coach to a female escort service. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is unsurprised to learn that Freeze — a man known for pushing his personal religious beliefs […]

Continue reading …

Kentucky notifies Ark Encounter that it has breached its tax incentive agreement

Comments Off on Kentucky notifies Ark Encounter that it has breached its tax incentive agreement

The Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet notified the operators of the Ark Encounter that it is in breach of its Tourism Development Agreement with the state. That agreement provides up to $18 million in state subsidies for the Ark project in the form of annual sales tax rebates. FFRF obtained records from the Cabinet […]

Continue reading …

FFRF asserts that Ark Encounter sale invalidates Kentucky subsidies

Comments Off on FFRF asserts that Ark Encounter sale invalidates Kentucky subsidies

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is condemning a questionable sale of the creationist Kentucky ark park and is calling upon the state to rescind its sales tax subsidies. The Ark Encounter — the Noah’s Ark-themed park that creationist Ken Ham operates — reportedly sold its main $48 million parcel and Ark attraction on June 28 […]

Continue reading …

Montana to Appeal Ruling Mandating Religious School Inclusion in Tax Credit Program

Comments Off on Montana to Appeal Ruling Mandating Religious School Inclusion in Tax Credit Program

Written by Don Byrd

Last month, a Montana judge ruled in favor of plaintiffs challenging the state’s exclusion of religious schools from a tax credit scholarship program. Now state officials have announced their intention to appeal to the state’s supreme court.

The program, which grants tax credits in return for private school scholarship contributions, prohibited religious schools from participating out of concern for church-state separation. The Montana Constitution specifically forbids the use of public money to fund sectarian education, but the judge ruled that tax credits are not public expenditures barred by the no-aid to religion provision.

Several state constitutions include no-aid to religion provisions (so-called Blaine Amendments) that have been central in the legal disputes over school vouchers in those states. These provisions are a state’s expression of the desire not to financially entangle church and state.

Voucher advocates, however, sound hopeful that rulings in favor of a tax credit approach like Montana’s will undermine the effectiveness of no-aid provisions generally. The Heartland Institute’s Ashley Batemen has this troubling quote, for example, from David Herbst, Director of the Montana chapter of Americans for Prosperity: “We would like to lay this question to rest of whether the Blaine …read more

Continue reading …
Page 1 of 130123Next ›Last »