religious freedom

Let the Good News Flow

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Just yesterday, I noted a trifecta of good news, and today two more actions by the US Supreme Court immediately followed: The justices refused to entertain an appeal by pharmacists to use religious exemptions in their refusal to fill birth control prescriptions; and they finally ended the quest of county clerks like Kim Davis in Kentucky, all of whom are government employees, from refusing marriage licenses based on their religious beliefs. Sometimes, more and more frequently these days, we see more good news, more progress towards that better world we can envision. Our manifesto describes the mechanics ...

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How are you celebrating Religious Freedom Day?

The idea of religious freedom was conceived as a shield protecting against government overreach when it comes to religious matters. All Americans, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, and so on, should have the freedom to practice their faith or worldview free from burdensome government regulation or required participation; faith and other individual thoughts are private waters that government shall not wade in except in extreme circumstances. Religious freedom by its nature must include freedom FROM religion to maintain its integrity as a concept. We see efforts by Religious Right groups and the US Catholic bishops to take ...

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NYT Threads the Needle on Religious Liberty

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A few days ago, Emily Bazelon (@emilybazelon), New York Times Magazine Staff Writer, successfully drew a fine line between government accommodation of religious beliefs and how the political religious right has turned that on its head for the sole purpose of unlawfully discriminating against minorities with whom they disagree. It is worth of a full read.

It's a thorny issue, no doubt, as I pointed out a couple of weeks ago in Religious Freedom vs Religious Liberty (Part 1 and Part 2), part of my month-long ...

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Religious Freedom vs Religious Liberty (Part 2 or 2)

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It's important, now more than ever, for progressives to understand the wide divide separating two distinct concepts: religious freedom and religious liberty. The religious right have become the champions of religious libertarianism because of the association of the word, liberty, with release from captivity and the bondage of sin. Intentionally, their use of the words, religious liberty, has nothing whatsoever to do with religious freedom, or how or why it was incorporated into our founding documents. The religious right's point of view is best understood by what is driving it: the political and religious philosophy of Read More

Religious Freedom vs Religious Liberty (Part 1 of 2)

"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty." And, "Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." (Thomas Jefferson)

"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion." (John Adams)

"Religion and government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together." (James Madison)

"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave making, and monopolize power and profit." (Thomas ...

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Support Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

I will be continuing in this space to demonstrate how American Dominionism -- a political and religious philosophy calling for the end of rule of law and replacing it with (their skewed version of) "god's law" -- is poisoning our democracy with a total disregard for the separation of church and state. Today, I would like you, if you haven't already, to become familiar with and support the great work being done by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (au.org). Their website is a must-read for anyone who cares how our democracy is being ...

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Barney Frank: Elder Statesman Or Just a Grouch?

2011 National Equality March, Washington, DC Flickr/creative commons

Barney Frank Sharply Criticizes Gay Rights Groups' Flip on ENDA by Amanda Terkel for The Huffington Post A handful of groups said last month that they no longer back the Senate-passed version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because of its sweeping religious exemption, which would allow religiously affiliated businesses to fire someone for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The provision's language goes far beyond religious exemptions afforded under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion or national origin.   Former Rep. Barney Frank's latest sound-off criticizing the ...

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When Free Speech Becomes Sedition

Chelsea Nesvig

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal: People are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., warns of a coming rebellion.

Yeah, he really said that, hostile takeover, and I think he was speaking not only to those present (1000 evangelical leaders) but to all the trigger-happy militias and tea party folks who would savor the opportunity to do just that. Jindal's remarks foment unrest and civil war in America even though it would result in nothing less than a fundamentalist theocracy, one just as bad as the Sharia Law they rant against. As Jindal sees it, religious freedom and the American Dream are being threatened. ...

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Supreme Court: Don’t F#ck it up

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Congressional Clarity: Americans United, Allies Deliver Briefing on Hobby Lobby Suit

"Should the Supreme Court rule in favor of Hobby Lobby, employers would be able to privilege their religious convictions over their employees’ – something we consider to be an egregious distortion of the principle of religious liberty" -- Litigation Counsel, Greg Lipper, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

A robust national debate has been going on leading up to the soon-to-be ruling from this session of the Supreme Court regarding the standing of a corporation's religious liberty, (in this case, Hobby Lobby) with respect ...

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