British Government Allows Religious Schools to Censor Questions About Evolution on Standardized Tests

Last fall, the Yesodey Hatorah Jewish Voluntary Aided girls’ secondary school in England — an ultra-orthodox school that encourages young women to become mothers instead of attending college — gave students an unusual GCSE science examination: While the questions weren’t altered, some of them were redacted

That put the girls at a disadvantage since they couldn’t read, and therefore couldn’t answer, those questions.

What was it about those questions that made school officials black them out? At the time, it wasn’t clear, but there were clues:

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The Birth Control Case That Infuriated the Religious Right

After more than 25 years working at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Rob Boston knows a thing or two about the Religious Right, their motivations and tactics, and what the future appears to have in store for them. His latest book gets to the heart of the religious freedom we’re guaranteed in the Constitution and how conservatives have tried to eliminate them in a variety of areas. It’s called Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You the Right to Tell Other People What to Do (Prometheus Books, 2014):

In the excerpt below, Boston discusses a historic Supreme Court case involving birth control:

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U.K. Court Overrules Jehovah’s Witness Parents, Orders Their Infant To Undergo Lifesaving Blood Transfusions

Let’s see how many pro-life Christians unequivocally support a British court’s decision that a baby is to undergo lifesaving blood transfusions despite his parents’ religious protestations.

A High Court judge has given permission for a baby boy to undergo blood transfusions during an operation notwithstanding his parents’ objections on religious grounds.

Mr. Justice Keehan had been told by a specialist that the baby — whose parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses — had complex heart disease and no ”long-term prospect of survival” if he did not have cardiac surgery.

The baby’s parents had agreed to surgery but said they could not consent to their son — who is a few weeks old — receiving blood.

Keehan called the parent’s opposition to blood transfusions “understandable,” but ruled in favor of the medical treatment anyway with an eye on the boy’s best interests.



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The Creepiest Excuse Ever To Justify Anti-Transgender Discrimination

The next big civil rights hurdle for the LGBT community is full equality for transgender people, and as always, some Christian conservatives take this as a personal threat. And this exchange between two dangerously ignorant Christian men is one of the most disrespectful, downright threatening viewpoints I’ve heard in the debate so far.

An increasing number of states are considering laws like California’s SB 1266, which allows transgender students to use whatever school restrooms and athletic facilities best correspond with their gender identity. Religious conservatives are terrified by the idea, regularly launching smear campaigns and repulsive ads that demonize transgender people and cast them as predators — with absolutely no evidence to back up these claims.

That’s right: While the most common argument against trans-inclusive school bathrooms is that boys will pretend to be transgender in order to see girls changing, there are no documented examples of this ever happening in any school. It’s a made-up problem. It doesn’t exist.

But that hasn’t stopped Christian talking heads from theorizing about what will go wrong if transgender students are allowed to use the restrooms of their choice. Right Wing Watch recently grabbed a video clip of Pastor Jack Hibbs interviewing Brad Dacus, president of the hyper-conservative Pacific Justice Institute, about laws like California’s. In a short minute and a half, they degrade trans students, young women, and even young men in the chilling way that only old Christian dudes can do.

Watch below:



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Arizona House Passes Bill to Give Tax Breaks to Property Owners Who Lease Their Space to Churches

You know what people in Arizona need? Tax breaks! And representatives in the state’s House are giving it to them… if they lease their private property to churches:

The measure would grant property owners who lease to churches but are not religiously affiliated themselves tax breaks approaching the ones churches get when they own property. The tax break applies only to space used for worship services.

… [The bill] could cost the state between $300,000 and $2.1 million in fiscal year 2016.

House Bill 2281 passed on a 33-25 vote after Republicans bullied some of their colleagues into voting for the horrible bill:

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