When police departments have chaplains, we can argue over whether that’s legal, but a common rebuttal is that it’s mostly symbolic and hurts nobody. Let’s put a rest to all that. According to an open records request by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Orlando Police Department (in Florida) spent nearly $25,000 on its chaplain [Read More…]
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.
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…)