New Jersey is Set to Award $11,000,000 in Taxpayer Money to Two Religious Schools, but This Lawsuit May Stop Them

Last November, the voters of New Jersey agreed to spend $750,000,000 (PDF) on construction projects at the state’s institutions of higher learning. Combined with other technology and infrastructure funds, that number later jumped to $1,300,000,000.

What we didn’t know was which schools would get how much money.

Last month, Governor Chris Christie’s administration proposed a list of 176 projects at 46 different universities.

The problem was that two of the universities, slated to receive $11,000,000 in taxpayer-approved money in total, were religious:

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She Was Kicked off Her School’s Football Team Because the Bible Said So

Maddy Blythe is a 12-year-old athlete from Locust Grove, Georgia and she was one of the stars of the football team at Strong Rock Christian School, where she was on the defensive line making tackles.

That is, until this week, when she was kicked off the team.

What did she do wrong? Was she not attending practice? Was she a bad player? Nope. It turns out God really doesn’t like female athletes and neither do the boys who might lust after her.

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Did a Tennessee College Professor Really Force Her Students to Wear a Rainbow Ribbon?

Here’s the story as the conservative media tells it: Linda Brunton, a liberal professor at Columbia State Community College in Tennessee, forced students to wear rainbow ribbons and tell people who asked them about it that they were supporters of gay rights.

Students then had to observe public reaction and write a paper about how they were allegedly “discriminated against” while wearing the ribbons.

When several students objected to being forced to support conduct that violates their faith convictions, Brunton brushed aside their concerns, described their views as “ignorant and uneducated,” and explained that she hoped this assignment would cause them to change their beliefs. Regardless of their convictions, students had to express the views she mandated in order to receive class credit.

The Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom even sent the school a letter (PDF) demanding an apology and a promise that this assignment will never be given again.

Of course, I’m having a hard time believing that a professor would “force” students to do this against their will. But let’s take this one issue at a time.

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Ellery Schempp Looks Back, Fifty Years After His Supreme Court Victory

This is a guest post by Ellery Schempp.

I was in a contemplative mood as I wrote this. Somewhat overwhelmed by good wishes from good people.

I thank you for remembering this anniversary. I am happy to have lived long enough to remember not only the Abington decision (1963), but also pioneers like Vashti McCollum (1948), Steve Engel (1962), Madalyn Murray (joined with Abington, 1963), and later cases such as Lemon and Weismann, Epperson, Edwards, Griswold, many others. All these cases came from real people, and often the children suffered.

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Chairman of Irish School Board Resigns After Distributing Pro-Life Propaganda to Children

After spending some time as the spokesperson for now-retired archbishop of Dublin Cardinal Desmond Connell, Eddie Shaw became the chairman of a Catholic school board. Maybe that position makes sense for someone who has spent a long time within the Church environment, but what he did a couple of weeks ago (no, not that) has led to his resignation.

Shaw asked all teachers to send home with students — some of whom were as young as five years old — a leaflet promoting an anti-abortion Vigil for Life rally:

“… The parent body were outraged that the children were being used as vehicle to promote a controversial campaign,” [minutes from a parents' association meeting] said.

Parents who spoke to The Irish Times were very angry at their children being used in this way. One parent of a five-year-old was asked by the child what an abortion was and felt deeply annoyed to have been put in that position.

Shaw apologized at the meeting and admitted that he made a mistake, adding that he really should’ve sent those leaflets home in an envelope, a solution one parent correctly said “[missed] the point entirely.”

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