Saturday, July 21, 2012

The ignorance of Rick Santorum

The ignorance of Rick Santorum

There's a tiny priest living in Rick Santorum's trim, toned body, struggling to get out. The rogue priest escaped Sunday and said foolish things.

The candidate most admired for plain speech made it plain and clear that he doesn't believe in the wall between church and state and doesn't think much of John F. Kennedy for saying he did.

"I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute," he told ABC News. "The idea that church can have no influence or involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country."

continued at:  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Connecticut School District Agrees To Stop Holding Graduation Ceremonies In Church

Connecticut School District Agrees To Stop Holding Graduation Ceremonies In Church

Americans United, ACLU Say Settlement Affirms Religious Liberty

The Enfield, Conn., Board of Education has agreed not to hold graduations in a Bloomfield church in order to settle a lawsuit filed by Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Connecticut.

The three organizations filed suit against the Enfield Board of Education in May 2010 on behalf of two students and three parents who objected to holding the graduations of Enfield and Fermi high schools at the First Cathedral in Bloomfield, arguing that doing so violated the First Amendment guarantees of religious liberty.

“Holding a public school graduation in an intensely religious environment such as First Cathedral communicates a message of religious favoritism to students and parents,” said Americans United Associate Legal Director Alex J. Luchenitser.  “We’re pleased that Enfield students will no longer have to choose between submitting to an unwelcome religious environment and missing their graduation ceremonies.”

In June 2010, federal District Court Judge Janet C. Hall issued a preliminary injunction barring use of the church. As a result, the 2010, 2011 and 2012 graduations for Enfield and Fermi high schools were held on school grounds.
The settlement, approved July 18 by the Enfield Board of Education, ends the litigation.  The Board of Education agreed not to hold future graduations at the First Cathedral. Having achieved their goal of preventing Enfield from holding graduations in the First Cathedral, the plaintiffs agreed to drop the lawsuit and a claim for nominal damages.

From 2007 through 2009, the Enfield high schools held their graduations in the Cathedral’s sanctuary, underneath a 25-foot-tall stained-glass cross and large banners reading “Jesus Christ is Lord” and “I am GOD.” The schools did so even though more than a dozen non-religious sites in the area were available to host graduation ceremonies.

“The school board's decision to stop holding graduations in the church will protect the rights of students and their families and will bring the community back together,” said Andrew Schneider, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut. “This assures that no one will be forced into an overtly religious setting like the First Cathedral’s sanctuary in order to attend a public school function.”

Said Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, “No students or their families should feel like outsiders at their own graduation ceremony. The board's decision ensures that the students of Enfield can celebrate the milestone of graduation in an inclusive atmosphere.”

The case was litigated by Luchenitser, ACLU of Connecticut’s Legal Director Sandra Staub and Staff Attorney David McGuire, Mach, AU Legal Director Ayesha N. Khan, and former AU legal fellows Devin Cain and Robert Shapiro.
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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

General Nuttiness: FRC Hires Islam-Bashing Ex-Army Officer For Top Position

The FRC, you might recall, has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its constant attacks on gay people. With Boykin’s help, the organization might soon be able to win that designation for its Islamophobia.

The FRC and groups like it claim to be just plain folks – nice, normal Americans who just happen to be very religious and want to preserve their rights. The fact that they put an extremist like Boykin in a position of high authority shows how out there they really are.

And remember, these are the people who think they know what’s best for you.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Call for Essays -- Give us your thoughts.

Call for Essays:
The Oklahoma Chapter of Americans United announces a call for essays on the topic:
Why the separation of Church and State is important to me.
Essays should be between 100 and 500 words and reflect personal stories that highlight the need for separation. Five essays will be selected to appear on a special webpage as part of an ongoing outreach effort.

Selected essayists will be named and their essays distributed at the annual meeting in September, 2012.
Essays should be sent to james.nimmo (at) either as an attachment or in the body of the email.
Essays must be received by midnight, CST, August 31, 2012.