Duck Dynasty Patriarch Urges Iowans to Vote Ted Cruz to “Rid the Earth” of Gay Marriage Supporters

Introducing Ted Cruz at an Iowa event this past weekend, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson spent some time railing about what gay marriage supporters are forcing him to swallow.

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Federal Lawsuit Alleges That Two Towns Refused Water Requests for Non-Mormons

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Colorado City in Arizona and Hildale in Utah, alleging that the towns’ leadership prioritized the clean water needs of Mormons while denying access to non-church members.

And the ongoing trial is providing pretty solid evidence to substantiate the charges.

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The two towns had close ties to the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints church (convicted sexual abuser Warren Jeffs‘ sect of Mormonism); in fact, the Colorado City board members involved in granting or denying water access were all FLDS members.

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The American Bar Association Says It Is Investigating Discrimination at BYU’s Law School

As many of you are probably aware, Brigham Young University is a private school that, while known for being operated and attended by Mormons, also admits students who are outside the faith. That means even if you don’t agree with Mormon theology, you’re still playing by Mormon rules.

All students, for example, are required to abide by BYU’s “Honor Code” — that means no alcohol, coffee, or pre-marital sex. (Homosexual sex? Don’t even try.) You might recoil at all that, but again, this is a private school. They have every right to lay out the rules as they see fit.

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Here’s where it gets weird: If you are Mormon, and you decide to leave the church (because you stopped believing in God), your life is practically over. You’ll be expelled and possibly evicted. Your transcript won’t even be released in some cases, making it tougher to transfer. The pressure is there to keep you in the Mormon faith. Your options at that point are to lie to everybody… or be honest and suffer.

But if you’re not a Mormon and you change your mind, no big deal. They don’t care.

A group called FreeBYU made the case last year that all of this went far beyond what a private religious school ought to be doing. They made the perfectly reasonable case that Mormons who changed their mind about religion should simply have to pay a higher tuition (like all non-Mormon students) and that would be the end of the punishments.

While BYU hasn’t announced any changes to their policies, the American Bar Association is now saying they will investigate FreeBYU’s complaints.

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Better to Let Kids Play in Traffic Than Let Them Skip Church, Christian Blogger Writes

It’s not a secret that many Christians are terrified of letting their kids make up their own minds about the question of God.

It’s not a secret that many seem to feel, instinctively, that without constant, repetitive drilling of faith concepts into their kids’ heads from the earliest possible age, they will not believe. In effect, they’re saying that the argument for God is not persuasive enough on the basis of reason, evidence, and logic, but must instead be force-fed to children from infancy before they develop a way to ask questions or form a rebuttal.

Or, as the Bible puts it, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

And while this is, I’m happy to report, not strictly true (certainly not exclusively, as myself and many other former believers can attest), it’s a pretty deeply entrenched concept all the same. To do anything less than indoctrinate kids as soon you can is to risk their soul — because children left to examine the evidence and arguments for religion on their own are children who may reject it. By not passing along your faith, you’re avoiding your greatest duty as a parent: preserving your children’s souls. In short, reason, evidence, and freethought be damned when souls are on the line.

It’s bad enough on its own, and it certainly reflects poorly on the perceived strength of religious arguments. But then you find parents justifying this bad idea with a full-on embrace, taking it to conclusions that are so much worse.

Parents like Christian blogger James Uglum, who recently wrote a piece describing why letting children skip church is a monstrous thing. Worse, in fact, than letting them play in rush-hour traffic.

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John Kasich Tells Atheist He Opposes Kim Davis-Style Discrimination

Reader Justin Scott, an Iowan who takes his politics seriously, has been going to meet-and-greets with a number of candidates to ask why atheists should consider supporting them.

He asked John Kasich about his faith, separation of church and state, and whether government employees like Kim Davis should be allowed to discriminate against others on the basis of religion. The event took place at the Czech Museum in Cedar Rapids.

Kasich gave an honest answer that probably represents the least frightening form of Republican religiosity we’ve seen this election cycle.

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