graphic from http://thinkprogress.org/
Teaching Intelligent Design
Photo of Jefferson's draft of letter to the Danbury Baptists
by Rob BostonChurch-state separation language in state constitutions is under fire.
"Seems like it comes up a little watered-down this time,” Loghry said. “They seem to be learning from mistakes. They said it’s not about intelligent design, but it is. Introducing this really puts us on a slippery slope."Loghry said measures such as SB 1742 are not new, nor is their opposition.
Genesis is not science and does not need to be history,” he said. “A great amount of people know the Genesis story. They also know it’s not historically correct. And there are other creation myths that are outside of intelligent design. School should be securely sacred from religion.”You can read the complete story here:
No matter how Indiana lawmakers tried to modify the bill, there was no getting around the fact that it was blatantly unconstitutional.
“Women – not their employers – should be allowed to make decisions about their healthcare and their religious beliefs,” Lynn wrote in the testimony. “A woman may not share the religious beliefs of their employer or practice religion in exactly the same way her employer does. It is the woman’s right to exercise her religion freely and make her own decisions about reproductive health, even if she is employed by an organization that holds a different position on these matters.”
“The separation of church and state means that the government will not force one religious view or doctrine upon the people,” Lynn’s testimony observes. “Expansion of the Obama compromise, however, would allow one particular religious doctrine to govern our public health policies at the expense of the health, safety, and religious conscience rights of the women they employ.”
“I was open to testify at today’s hearing, but I understand and support the minority’s decision to ask a woman to take part because this issue would affect women's access to contraceptives and the right to conscience. I appreciate that I was given the opportunity to provide written testimony. I am disappointed, however, by the imbalance on the panel and the lack of women's voices on an issue that has terrific impact on them. When the claim of ‘conscience’ by large religions collides with that of an individual woman, it is her right to make her own moral decision that must be saved.”
“Right-wing members of Congress are pushing bills that would interfere with Americans’ access to birth control,” Lynn continued. “Americans who believe in individual freedom and church-state separation must make their voices heard.”Added Lynn, “In a nation that separates religion and government, it is wrong to let the Catholic hierarchy and the Religious Right write laws that impose their theology. American women, including the 98 percent of Catholic women who have used birth control, have every right to be outraged by the disproportionate political influence of the handful of men who run the Catholic Church and the Religious Right.”
“Church hospital systems and church-affiliated universities are big business,” Lynn said, “but that doesn’t mean they should override the rights of individual Americans. Why should the alleged ‘conscience rights’ of big religious corporations trump the legitimate conscience rights of individual Americans?”Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.
“No American’s right to marry should be subjected to a veto from aggressive and well-funded religious groups,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case. “Our nation is a democracy, not a theocracy. Our laws should reflect equality and fairness, not discrimination and intolerance.”
Added Lynn, “Opponents of same-sex marriage have been unable to muster any arguments other than it offends their theology. We have a secular government, and dogma should not and cannot be transformed into law.”