Ask JT: Has anybody questioned the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance?

Alex asks: Has anyone thought of questioning the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance? The “one nation, under God” part is obviously a violation of the First Amendment. I know why that phrase was added in the 1950s (not that it was constitutional then), but surely someone has thought of trying to change it more [Read More…]

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Thanks to American Atheists’ lawsuit, dishonest organizers of National Baptist convention won’t get taxpayer money.

The National Baptist Convention is coming back to Kansas City.  All would’ve been smooth, but they asked the city for $65,000 of taxpayer money to support their convention.  American Atheists filed a lawsuit, the city decided that one way or another the convention wasn’t getting that money and decided to not throw money away on [Read More…]

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Pennsylvania House of Representatives set to give Americans United a lot of the state’s money.

Five Pennsylvanians are suing the state over being prohibited from giving invocations before House sessions: American Atheists joined with Americans United for Separation of Church and State in filing a federal lawsuit today challenging a policy prohibiting atheists from offering invocations to open Pennsylvania House of Representatives sessions. The five individual plaintiffs in the case, [Read More…]

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The rest of what’s happening: more Trump, church exodus in Norway, and mingling of Christianity and gov’t.

Here’s a bunch of stuff that didn’t make it onto the blog today, but which caught my eye anyway. The NYT editorial board published an op-ed on Trump’s tendency to breathe strength into conspiracy theories: Mr. Trump has seized on the charge that Hillary Clinton plans to win by cheating. He has said it before, [Read More…]

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Matt Staver: Obergefell didn’t count, and it’s time for “civil resistance” to fight it.

Matt Staver gave a talk in Pennsylvania in April, the video for which has come to light now, in which he said that Obergefell didn’t count.  Why?  Because his religion says otherwise. Staver takes it a step further, suggesting civil unrest is necessary to get their way: “We are coming to a place, ladies and [Read More…]

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Belize court invalidates law that criminalized gay sex and punished it with a penalty of ten years in jail.

Gay men can now be physical with one another in Belize without spending ten years in jail: Belize’s Criminal Code (Section 53) criminalised ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’ which included consensual sexual conduct between adult males in private. The law, which though rarely used carried a ten-year prison sentence, disproportionately impacted on the [Read More…]

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In Trenton, NJ cops are dropping juveniles picked up after curfew at area churches.

Trenton has reintroduced a curfew, but it seems the police don’t want to deal with the workload of such a law.  So they’ve arranged to drop kids they pick up at area churches: Last month, police in Trenton began enforcing a midnight to 6 a.m. curfew for kids under 18. Law enforcement has worked in [Read More…]

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BREAKING: Federal judge blocks Ohio legislation preventing funds from going to Planned Parenthood.

W00t!: BREAKING: Federal judge sides with Planned Parenthood, blocks Ohio law that diverts public money from group. — The Associated Press (@AP) August 12, 2016 More: A federal judge says Ohio’s health department must consider a grant application from Planned Parenthood as a law that seeks to divert public money away from the organization is [Read More…]

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MORNING HAPPINESS: What had to be the greatest hearing in legal history.

Let us start today with Rick & Morty (great show, btw — think Doctor Who if The Doctor is your abusive alcoholic grandpa) reciting, word-for-word, the transcript of State of Georgia Vs. Denver Fenton Allen, which took place in Georgia on June 17. The transcript shows an exchange between Allen, on trial for beating another [Read More…]

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TN Sheriff who used police’s facebook page to evangelize settles with American Atheists for $41,000.

In April I wrote about how a sheriff in Tennessee by the name of Eric Watson was using the police station’s official facebook page to evangelize.  American Atheists was none too happy about it.  They sent him a letter telling him to stop doing things like making posts titled “The Time We Live In,” in which Watson [Read More…]

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