This is What the Religious Freedom Restoration Act Looks Like in Every State

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, at both the state and federal levels, has provided cover for Christian business owners who want to discriminate due to their faith. RFRA has been used to defend everything from anti-gay pizza shop owners in Indiana to the anti-women owners of Hobby Lobby.

The scary thing is that various forms of RFRA are all over the country.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State just published a map documenting the kinds of RFRA statutes in every state, and you get a sense of just how pervasive this faith-based legislation is:

RFRACountrywide


[Read more…]

Christian Pastor Defends Slavery Because the Bible Condones It

In the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia‘s death, much has been made of his doctrine of Originalism, interpreting the Constitution as the Founders envisioned it, even though they couldn’t have known about the issues we’re dealing with today. One of the biggest rebuttals to Scalia’s theory has always been the issue of desegregation. The Founders clearly didn’t want to see the children of slaves and the children of slaveowners on equal footing, but no decent person today would support segregated schooling. So how would Scalia have voted in Brown vs. Board of Education, the case that eliminated segregation in schools? His response was always very awkward as he tried to square the circle and reconcile his Originalism with a case that clearly went against it.

Which brings me to Pastor Steven Anderson.

He’s someone who always says the Bible is 100% true. He’s a fundamentalist’s fundamentalist.

But doesn’t the Bible condone slavery? How does he handle that issue?

He responded in a sermon clip posted to YouTube:

AndersonSlavery


[Read more…]

The Duggars Are Returning to Television… Sort Of

It was last July when all the scandals with the Duggar family finally hit the fan and TLC officially canceled their reality show 19 Kids and Counting. It was surprising, really, that it hadn’t happened earlier, immediately after it was revealed that Josh Duggar had been accused of molesting five girls (including four of his sisters) when he was younger — while some of them were sleeping, no less.

TLC stopped airing episodes of the show in May, when the story became national news, but there was question of whether the Duggars had appeared on TV for the last time.

As we soon learned, TLC wasn’t going to let this cash cow run dry anytime soon.



[Read more…]

Arkansas Legislator Rips Up Letter Asking Him to Stop Raising Money for Ten Commandments Monument

A couple of days ago, I posted about how Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert, who had already proposed and passed a bill to install a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the State Capitol, was now trying to fundraise to build that monument.

He began a GoFundMe campaign to crowdsource funding on behalf of a private company, the American History & Heritage Foundation, Inc., a group that seems to have been created for the sole purpose of putting up this monument.

As of this writing, Rapert has raised $6,000 of his requested $16,600. (He says he has additional funding worth $3,000 outside of GoFundMe.)

Yesterday, however, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center denounced Rapert’s fundraising scheme in a letter sent to his office, explaining how his proposed monument would very likely violate the law and lose a legal challenge:

… The Appignani Humanist Legal Center cites Sen. Rapert’s leadership in the Appeal to Heaven legislative caucus, a national network of conservative Christian elected officials who openly profess their commitment to governing based on biblical principles.

“Many people in Arkansas have already expressed concern about the Ten Commandments monument and its excessive state entanglement with religion,” said David Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association. “We urge Sen. Rapert to stop this project and turn his attention to the practical, real-world needs of all of his constituents, both religious and nonreligious.”

The letter warns that Sen. Rapert should cease his fundraising activities for the Ten Commandments monument or risk likely litigation that will result in an unnecessary waste of taxpayer money.

How did Rapert respond?

By turning on a video camera, ripping the letter up, and posting it on Facebook. Because he has the emotional maturity of a 12-year-old.

RapertRip


[Read more…]

Anti-Gay Group Busted Again for Posting Fake Picture of Supporters on Social Media

Yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage (a group best known for opposing marriage) posted this image on Facebook, boasting of “two million people march in Rome for man woman ‪#‎marriage‬ on family day.”

FamilyDayNOM

Maybe they missed all the rainbow flags in the picture, but those people aren’t celebrating marriage inequality.

They’re there for a gay pride rally, in support of proposed legislation in Italy that would grant legal recognition to people in civil unions. Seriously. Go to that link. The original picture is right there.

[Read more…]