North Carolina Republican Equates Praying to Allah with Terrorism

North Carolina is back in the news for more religion-related idiocy.

You might remember how the Rowan County Board of Commissioners have pretty much had only Christians delivering their invocations at meetings for a long time — specifically, “97% of Board meetings in the past five-and-a-half years have featured sectarian prayer,” according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

Then, a week ago, Republican lawmakers filed a bill (since tabled) that would allow them to establish a state religion.

Rep. Michele Presnell was one of the co-sponsors of that bill.

Recently she wrote a letter to her constituents explaining why she supported this awful legislation: [Read more...]

New California Legislation Would Remove Tax Breaks from the Boy Scouts for Discriminating Against Atheists

The Boy Scouts of America are still considering letting in gay members and leaders — but even if their rules change, they would still forbid atheists from joining their organization. Katherine Stewart said as much in a recent article:

… the questionnaire, like much of the coverage surrounding it, is silent about the role of religion in shaping the Boy Scout’s discriminatory policies in another area, one that is distinct from and yet intimately connected with its bigotry toward gay people.

Adult leaders in the Boy Scouts must sign a Declaration of Religious Principles, and Scouts must take an oath “to do my duty to God”. Both adults and children can and have been excluded from the organization for lack of belief in a supreme being (or beings).

Now, California lawmakers may punish any group that discriminates against LGBT individuals or atheists. Sen. Ricardo Lara recently introduced Senate Bill 323 and it’ll have its first committee hearing tomorrow:

[Click headline for more…] [Read more...]

It’s About Damn Time: ‘Progressive’ Christian Jim Wallis Finally Voices Support for Marriage Equality

Jim Wallis is one of the best-known “progressive” Christians and the founder of Sojourners (“Christians for Justice and Peace”).

Despite being a registered Democrat and a frequent critic of the Religious Right, he has never really been a champion of LGBT rights.

This is Wallis in 2008:

[Click headline for more…] [Read more...]

Without Addressing Religious Discrimination with Taxpayer Money, President Obama Extends Life of Faith-Based Advisory Council

On Friday, President Obama did something the media paid little attention to — with gun control and gay rights still making headlines, it’s hard to blame them — but we shouldn’t let this go unnoticed.

He issued an Executive Order to continue the “President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships” for another two years… without addressing the biggest problems with the office.

[Click headline for more…] [Read more...]

Kentucky Lawmaker Defends Bill Allowing Religious Discrimination by Citing Examples of Christians Not Always Getting Their Way

Last month, lawmakers in Kentucky proposed a billHouse Bill 279 — that would allow discrimination in the workplace, housing, or even public facilities if the justification involved “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Gays, lesbians, atheists, Muslims, and pretty much everyone who’s not a Christian had good reason to fear this bill.

On March 22nd, Gov. Steve Beshear did the right thing and vetoed the bill (PDF):

As written, the measure calls into question the scope and efficacy of many laws regarding public health and safety as well as individual civil rights… Our businesses, our local governments, our citizens and our religious organizations should not be burdened with the potential consequences associated with this well intended but ultimately flawed legislation.

Unfortunately, the Kentucky House and Senate had the numbers to override the veto

Which brings us to yesterday. Republican Rep. Stan Lee wrote a letter to the Lexington Herald-Leader to counter the charge that this bill was all about “pandering” and cowardice. There are so many false statements and exaggerated claims in the piece, you would think Lee was trying to get hired at FOX News Channel. My own commentary is in red:

[Click headline for more…] [Read more...]


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