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Establishment Clause

The Coming Battles Over Religious Objections to Participation in Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Legally Complex

Kevin Sali | Posted 11.12.2015 | Politics
Kevin Sali

When these cases arise, the question that usually comes up is whether state or federal law provides any sort of religion-based exemption from compliance with certain laws. Like any other question involving a potential conflict between two sources of law, this can be quite complex.

Lord Hanuman and the Ten Commandments on State Grounds - What's a State to Do?

Suhag A. Shukla, Esq. | Posted 09.01.2015 | Religion
Suhag A. Shukla, Esq.

Is that what our Founding Fathers, as influenced as they may have been by the 10Cs, intended when they prophetically drafted the First Amendment as a foundation for our secular democracy? I'm fairly confident most freedom-loving Americans would say no.

Nick Wing

Church And State Are Separate In The U.S., Except When They're Not | Nick Wing | Posted 06.16.2015 | Politics

Any decent, red-blooded American politician loves the Constitution. It seems fair, then, to expect these politicians to respect the very first right e...

Mindfulness Meditation in Public Schools: Side-Stepping Supreme Court Religion Rulings

Candy Gunther Brown, Ph.D. | Posted 02.04.2015 | Education
Candy Gunther Brown, Ph.D.

Why is mindfulness sweeping American public schools? There is a perceived crisis in U.S. public education.

Tennessee Cheerleaders Sidestep Their School's Prayer Ban

Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 09.18.2014 | Religion

A group of Tennessee cheerleaders decided to bring prayer back to the football field. Oneida High School administrators instituted a moment of sile...

Reframing the Debate Over the Pledge of Allegiance: Make God Optional

Ronald A. Lindsay | Posted 11.02.2014 | Religion
Ronald A. Lindsay

Battles over the Pledge have resulted in multiple acrimonious lawsuits and disputes, with no change to the law, only increasing resentment and hostility on both sides of the dispute. It's time to reframe the debate.

Federally Funded Discrimination -- Did Obama Go Far Enough?

Shayna A. Pitre | Posted 10.02.2014 | Politics
Shayna A. Pitre

Religious organizations receiving federal contracts can no longer discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. Some question whether President Obama has gone too far. Others question whether he has gone far enough.

Ayatollah Alito

Paul Abrams | Posted 09.02.2014 | Politics
Paul Abrams

Ayotallah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, say hello to your new comrade, Ayotallah Samuel Alito. Supreme Leader meet Supreme Court Justice. And, no, regrettably, this is not hyperbole.

Justice Scalia, Religion, and the Failure of Legal Reasoning

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 08.17.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

At its core, legal reasoning is about trying to find insight, or logic, or common sense by comparing different situations and then striving to identify the most important similarities and differences. Analogies open some doors and close others. They shape and direct the analysis.

Navy Chaplains Obstruct Religious Liberty

Tom Carpenter | Posted 08.16.2014 | Religion
Tom Carpenter

Just last month, the Navy Chief of Chaplains rejected the application of Jason Heap, a highly qualified chaplain candidate who would have been the first Humanist military chaplain.

Massachusetts Supreme Court Decides Pledge of Allegiance Case

Brad Reid | Posted 07.12.2014 | Education
Brad Reid

The Massachusetts Supreme Court decided on May 9 that "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance as recited in public schools does not discriminate against non-religious students.

Supreme Court Rules in Town Board Prayer Case

Brad Reid | Posted 05.05.2014 | Religion
Brad Reid

The U.S. Supreme Court in a divided 5-4 decision held that a town board that began meetings with a prayer given by clergy selected from a local directory of congregations does not violate the Establishment Clause.

The Mt. Soledad Cross and the Religious Case for Secularization

Kent Hayden, M.Div. | Posted 06.10.2014 | Religion
Kent Hayden, M.Div.

Those who are able to encounter the sacred through those symbols should join the voices of the protesters and call for a more secular state.

Hunter Stuart

High School Football Coach In Hot Water For Praying With Students | Hunter Stuart | Posted 02.05.2014 | Religion

One North Carolina town has become the latest battleground over First Amendment rights after a local school football coach was ordered to stop partici...

Baby Jesus: Not Welcome Here

Cheryl Moch | Posted 02.16.2014 | Religion
Cheryl Moch

I can admire your trees and your lights in this dark season and your Santa with his merry laugh. But it all gets too serious when I see that manger with its empty cradle waiting for the birth of a baby whose horrible death will be blamed on me.

Christian Football in Nebraska

David Moshman | Posted 01.23.2014 | College
David Moshman

Contrary to Coach Brown's expansive claims about the rights of professors, UNL faculty do not have a right to indoctrinate students in their religious (or anti-religious) views. Faculty are hired to teach and do research in philosophy, chemistry, engineering, and other subjects, and this is what they do.

The Paralyzing Premise of Public Prayer

Jeff Schweitzer | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Jeff Schweitzer

The explicitly stated attempt to promote Christianity in a government meeting so obviously violates our Constitution that the case should have never even come close to the halls of our highest court.

What Quebec's Battle Over Religious Symbols Can Teach Americans About Church-State Separation

Rabbi Jordie Gerson | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Jordie Gerson

As post-9-11 Americans, we know all too well that there's often a thin line between the separation of church and state and the infringement of rights we would otherwise take for granted; it's not easy to preserve individual rights while protecting religious groups.

A Duck Is a Duck; and a Muslim Prayer Is a Muslim Prayer

Jeff Schweitzer | Posted 10.12.2013 | Politics
Jeff Schweitzer

The most important legal battle in the country was for the past few years quietly being waged here in Greece, N.Y., a small enclave near Rochester.

Atheists Overstep in Demanding Lincoln 'God' Quotation Removed From U.S. Passports

Salvador Litvak | Posted 08.07.2013 | Politics
Salvador Litvak

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of State demanding that the following inspirational quotations...

Scalia Scales New Heights of Absurdity and New Lows of Judicial Malfeasance

Jeff Schweitzer | Posted 08.26.2013 | Politics
Jeff Schweitzer

It would seem that Scalia is determined to mount a campaign designed to do everything possible to undermine our faith in the Supreme Court. His radicalism, irrationality and extremism threaten the credibility of the most important anchor in our three-branch government.

Rick Perry's Worst Veto

Jason Stanford | Posted 08.17.2013 | Politics
Jason Stanford

By conflating testing with curriculum, Perry's veto of a testing relief bill aimed at the playground set revealed that he doesn't understand what happens in Texas elementary schools.

Why Everyone Should Oppose Ten Commandments In Public Schools – Especially Religious People

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush | Posted 07.13.2013 | Religion
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

Every religious person should object to having the Ten Commandments in schools because you are allowing other people -- people over whom you have no control -- the responsibility of interpreting said commandments.

The First Casualty Of Religious Wars Is Truth

Tom Carpenter | Posted 07.06.2013 | Religion
Tom Carpenter

Over the past decades, conservative Christians have had almost full reign within the military, and they disproportionally make up most of the Chaplaincy. In the last several years, though, there has been closer scrutiny of the conduct of certain chaplains and commanders who have used their positions to advance their own religious beliefs.

City Commission's Prayer Policy Upheld

Brad Reid | Posted 05.28.2013 | Politics
Brad Reid

The case, Atheists of Florida v. City of Lakeland, provides an example of how local legislative bodies might craft a prayer policy that a court could find constitutionally permissible.