California Bill Offering Double Pay on a “Family Holiday” Inadvertently Promotes Christianity

A bill introduced by California State Assembly Member Lorena S. Gonzalez a couple of months ago, called the “Double Pay on the Holiday Act of 2015,” just passed through the Labor committee. And it’s a roundabout way to promote Christianity.

In short, the bill would mandate that employers pay their workers at least “twice the employee’s regular rate of pay” on certain holidays.

Like Christmas and Thanksgiving and nothing else.



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Sharia Spreads: It’s Now the Law in Part of Malaysia

Islamic countries that have embraced sharia include Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Nigeria. Last year, Brunei became the first Southeast Asian country to join that wretched club, and now neighboring Malaysia has done the same. More precisely, the state of Kelantan has, despite the fact that sharia is incompatible with the country’s constitution.

Among the punishments: limb amputations for theft; crucifixion for deadly robberies; 40 to 80 lashes for consuming any quantity of alcohol; and, of course, good old-fashioned stoning for adultery. The law also prescribes death for apostasy (remember that when Muslims quote Al-Baqara 256 from the Qur’an and try to tell you that “there is no compunction” in their religion).



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Congressman Introduces Legislation to Prevent “So Help Me God” from Becoming Optional Part of Military Oaths

Until late 2013, if you were a freshman at the U.S. Air Force Academy, you would have concluded your Basic Cadet Training by reciting this Honor Oath:

“We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God.”

It’s that last clause that Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation fought to remove for so long and they eventually got their wish:



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Arizona Bill Exempting Churches from Paying Property Taxes on Buildings They Rent Awaits the Governor’s Signature

Earlier this year, Arizona legislators introduced a bill that would allow churches to claim a property tax exemption on buildings they rent rather than just own. A similar bill was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer last year, but there’s no telling if the same thing will happen under new Governor Doug Ducey.

House Bill 2128, which was passed by the House in February and passed by the Senate this week, already exempts property “owned by an educational, religious or charitable organization… from taxation.”

However, if a church rents space from, say, a public school, they can now claim an exemption on it, too. That rule would not apply to secular non-profit groups that rent the same space.



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Kansas Senate Passes Bill That Would Allow Campus Christian Groups to Discriminate Against LGBT Students

It’s tough to be a Christian group on college campuses these days. I mean, everyone expects you to play by the rules, even though we all know Christians deserve special rights that allow them to discriminate against LGBT students and their allies.

We saw this at Bowdoin College in Maine last year, when leaders of the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship were about to lose their designation as an official campus group (with all the privileges that come with it) because they really really really wanted to make sure nobody who supported LGBT-rights had the opportunity to become a leader of their group. School administrators, on the other hand, refused to allow official campus groups to discriminate for any reason.

Yesterday, the Kansas Senate passed a bill (SB 175) that would force public universities to allow religious groups to discriminate in their leadership. So if the Fred Phelps Fan Club says God told them LGBT students aren’t worthy of holding office, fine. If a Southern Baptist club believes women are subservient to men and can’t run for any leadership positions, that’s okay. If your religion makes you racist, there’s nothing the school can do about a faith-based club promoting that view.

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