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.

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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:

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Why the Faith-Based Initiative Needs to Be Sacrificed

Last month, the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison held their second annual Freethought Festival. Videos of the event are now going up and they’re definitely worth your time to watch.

In the following video, American Atheists’ Managing Director Amanda Knief talks about why the Faith-Based Initiative needs to be sacrificed:

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Louisiana State Representative: Students Should Learn Freedom of Religion by Reciting the Lord’s Prayer Every Morning

I thought it was bad when two North Carolina Republican state legislators tried to pass a resolution calling for a state religion. But that was nothing compared to what Katrina R. Jackson, a Democrat from Louisiana, is trying to do.

Jackson has introduced House Bill 660, a bill that would “require the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish a policy and develop procedures relative to school prayer and the pledge of allegiance.”

“Establishing a policy” seems harmless… but Jackson wants more than that. She wants to see the wall between church and state torn down, stomped upon, and replaced with a giant cross.

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Liberty University: You Can’t Watch an R-Rated Movie… But Go Ahead and Bring a Gun to Class

Jerry Falwell‘s Liberty University just revised (PDF) an important policy at the school:

Students of Liberty University… who hold a valid concealed weapons permit recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and who are approved by LUPD to carry a concealed weapon, may possess and carry such concealed weapon on University property and all University facilities except residence halls, and may store the approved weapon in a secured container or compartment in their vehicle while on University property.

So students (and staff) who have the easy-to-obtain weapons permit can bring a concealed weapon on campus.

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