I’m posting in segments this week because I’m running behind schedule.
American Atheists has lost its most recent bid to have the cross removed from Ground Zero at the 9/11 Memorial. At the 50th anniversary convention last weekend, David Silverman, president of AA, took the stage upon being informed of the decision. “We will appeal,” he declared to the convention. Edwin Kagin, a lawyer for AA, said, “For anyone to think this is not a religious symbol being moved for religious reasons into the World Trade Center museum is incredible.” The judge held that the cross is not a religious symbol, but rather an artifact, since the cross-shaped steel beams were part of the twisted wreckage of the collapsed buildings found several days after the attack.
Yesterday it was reported that the giant picture of Jesus that has hung in two different schools in the Jackson, Ohio, City School District, has finally been removed. Apparently the school district decided not to blow money unnecessarily on a federal lawsuit. The school district’s insurance carrier refused to provide a defense to the lawsuit.
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled unanimously last week that the state’s 2011 school voucher law, which is the most expansive school voucher program in the nation, does not violate the state’s constitution. The law’s challengers argued that the voucher program allows public funds to be used for religious education. In a finding based on twisty logic, the court said that since the voucher funds go to parents, not directly to schools, the law is not unconstitutional.
DuPage County, Illinois, may not discriminate against Muslims, said a federal court last week. Muslims who sought to build a mosque, complete with a dome and minarets, were denied a building permit because the area where they wanted to locate was already saturated with churches. Obviously, if the Christian community is well-served in a specific area, there is no need to have other religions present. Christians can take care of everyone’s spiritual needs adequately. The county board pointed out that the Muslims had been using space in a local church to meet, so clearly they did not need their own, separate space. The board also said the domes and minarets were too tall, so the mosque itself had to be redesigned to be smaller and set back further from the street. Islam and its attendant issues aside, I think domes and minarets look awesome.
Texas just gets more and more creative in its efforts to suppress religious dissenters and icky gay people. Texas A&M has a proposal pending to defund student LGBT groups and others that offend the religious sensibilities of some students. I guess that means since the Baptist Student Union gets money from that same source of funds, it will be defunded, too. After all, it promotes ideas considered objectionable to Islam and, say, atheists. Right? The proposal would allow any student to object to specific funding and get a refund on student activity fees. Looks like a bureaucratic nightmare for A&M officials could happen. But the A&M proponents of the policy have actual, real, legislative backing. By framing it as a health issue aimed at stopping the spread of venereal disease, Rep. Bill Zelder has added language to the state’s general appropriations bill that would effectively defund LGBT student groups. Because he knows those homosexual students are just maniacally screwing – much more frequently than heterosexual student, of course – and spreading all manner of cooties.
Got a legal question? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m a lawyer, but there’s only a 2% chance I’m licensed in your state. Whether I answer your question or not, sending me an email or reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. I’m on Twitter as @aramink, and you can see my regular blog at www.aramink.com, where I write book reviews, ruminate on Life, the Universe, and Everything, and occasionally – frequently – rant about Stuff.