Virginia School District Abandons Policy Requiring Homeschooled Children to Explain Their Religious Beliefs

Last week, the Goochland County school board in Virginia was hounded by homeschooling parents to back down from a new approach regarding religious exemptions from school attendance and annual testing. Homeschool parents complained that the proposed changes would be a violation of their First Amendment rights, since it would require children over the age of 14 to agree with their parents’ request for a religious exemption and possibly even testify to the school board about why their religious beliefs required them to be exempt from traditional school.

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) objected on the grounds that the change would require homeschooled children to defend their faith, infringing on the principle of separation of church and state.

The proposed shift in policy was prompted by two things: a failed Virginia House bill that would have studied the status of religious exemptions and a growing public awareness of the desire for homeschool reform among the homeschooled alumni community.

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Bryan Fischer: Obama Isn’t a True Christian Because He Supports LGBT Rights

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer is certainly not one to shy away from expressing bizarre opinions, but last week on his show Focal Point, he might have set a new record for the most hilariously contradictory and nonsensical statements uttered in a short time.

It transpired when a caller, Don, wondered, “… how come there’s nobody on AFR [American Family Radio] that will say that Barack Obama’s not a Christian?” The caller speculated that President Obama might instead be a Muslim or a New Age spiritualist and opined that “even” Russian president Vladimir Putin is a Christian. (If only, I guess, we had such a righteous man in charge here…)



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Indiana State Senators Propose Bill That Would Allow Teaching of Creationism in Public Schools

Indiana State Senators Jeff Raatz and Dennis Kruse are sponsoring a bill, Senate Bill 562, that will allow Creationism and climate change-denial to make their way into the classroom.

Of course, they don’t say that explicitly:

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Conservative Professor and Colleagues Say They’ll Take Lashes on Raif Badawi’s Behalf

While Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (below) is only 50 lashes into his 1,000-lashes punishment for the “crime” of “insulting Islam,” a group of Americans have made an unusual offer on his behalf:



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The Three Words No President Has Ever Said In a State of the Union Address

Last night’s State of the Union address brought a long list of tweetworthy moments, from President Barack Obama‘s wink at the crowd during a recap of the progress his administration has made to a snappy, unscripted comeback about winning his last two campaigns that silenced fussy Republicans.

But the 2015 speech also gave us a few truly pivotal moments, even if they only spanned a few words. Among them: the first time any president has ever used the words “lesbian,” “bisexual” or “transgender” in that address.

Here’s what Obama said (the full speech is available at Medium):

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