religious freedom

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Jindal: I'll Never Change My Mind About Gay Marriage

La. governor says he won't cave to corporate 'bullies' on religious liberty issues

(Newser) - Indiana and Arkansas recently softened their so-called "religious freedom" legislation , and one person isn't happy that they walked it back: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. In an opinion piece in today's New York Times , Jindal takes issue with the "large corporations [that] recently joined left-wing activists to... More »

Suggested Dues for First Church of Cannabis: $4.20

Founder Bill Levin's response to Indiana law puts pot front and center

(Newser) - The first commandment of Indiana's newest religious establishment is pretty straightforward: "Don't be an asshole ." The First Church of Cannabis—given the thumbs-up as a religious corporation by Indiana's secretary of state after the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into law last week—also... More »

Pastafarian Wears Colander as Hat in DMV Photo

Oklahoma atheist says it symbolizes religious freedom

(Newser) - America is the land of the free, the kind of country where you can wear a colander on your head and call it religious headgear. That's not a joke—there has been a Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster since 2005, and Oklahoma's Shawna Hammond is a practitioner... More »

Teen Punished for Saying 'Bless You' in School: Report

School says Kendra Turner caused disruption

(Newser) - A high school senior in Tennessee says she was placed in in-school suspension because she said "bless you" after a fellow student's sneeze. Kendra Turner tells WMCTV her teacher told her that "bless you" is language for church. "She said that we're not going to... More »

Christian Woman Who Faced Execution Arrives in US

Philly mayor greets Sudanese woman, gives Liberty Bell replica as liberation gift

(Newser) - Being called a "world freedom fighter" by the mayor is a nice way to be greeted when you land in Philly. Meriam Ibrahim Tehya Ishag, the woman who came perilously close to being hanged in Sudan for renouncing Islam, marrying a Christian, and converting to Christianity, arrived in the... More »

High Court Ruling Already Bad News for Non-Christians

Roanoke supervisor proposes ban on non-Christian prayer

(Newser) - What will the Supreme Court's Greece vs. Galloway decision mean for religious liberty? Well, let's put it this way: Less than 24 hours later, a board of supervisors member in Roanoke, Va., used the ruling to revise his push to ditch the town's nonsectarian prayer policy, adding... More »

Clergy Sue for Right to Perform Gay Weddings

Their argument focuses on religious freedom

(Newser) - North Carolina's gay marriage ban is being challenged—by a group of clergymen. The United Church of Christ, Lutheran, Baptist, and Unitarian Universalist ministers, plus two rabbis, filed a lawsuit yesterday claiming that the ban infringes upon their religious freedom, and that because of the separation of church and... More »

That Anti-Gay Arizona Bill? Miss. Just Passed Its Own

It's been toned down a bit, but not enough for the ACLU

(Newser) - Remember the religious freedom bill that was eventually vetoed amid claims of being anti-gay in Arizona? Well, Mississippi just passed its own very similar bill yesterday, the Washington Post reports. The bill could allow people to sue if they think a law places a significant burden on their religious freedoms,... More »

When Did Corporations Find Religion?

Supreme Court considers ObamaCare contraception mandate

(Newser) - This week, the Supreme Court is considering whether ObamaCare can require corporations to offer coverage for contraception. Companies like Hobby Lobby say that mandate violates their right to religious freedom, a claim that has some pundits raising their eyebrows:
  • Corporations don't seem too worried about religious values when they
... More »

Amid Pressure, Brewer May Veto Ariz. Anti-Gay Bill

Business leaders, GOP backers urge veto

(Newser) - Jan Brewer is likely to veto a bill that would allow Arizona businesses to refuse service to gay people for religious reasons, sources tell NBC News . The move comes in the wake of intense pressure from a host of sources—including three GOP senators who voted for the bill. "... More »

Gitmo Troops Want Nativity Scenes Removed

Group of 18 says they unfairly promote Christianity

(Newser) - One of those annual nativity scene controversies has sprung up, but this time in an unusual place: Gitmo. Several troops at Guantanamo Bay lodged a protest with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation about nativity scenes put up inside two dining facilities, reports the Navy Times . They say the scenes promote... More »

Atheism Course Coming to Irish Primary Schools

Or at least, the small handful of them that aren't run by the Catholic Church

(Newser) - Soon, some Irish school children will be learning about doubt. Atheist Ireland has gotten the go-ahead to teach classes about non-belief to primary school children, and will begin doing so with the September 2014 class, the Guardian reports. The program is being developed along with Educate Together, and will be... More »

Religious Family Lost at Sea Is Back in Arizona

Gastonguays face sizable debt after returning home

(Newser) - A family that fled the US in search of religious freedom is back home in Arizona instead, facing nearly $20,000 in debt. The Gastonguay family sailed off for the island nation of Kiribati, hoping to avoid what they said was government interference in religion—but storms damaged their boat... More »

Religious Family Abandons US ... Act of God Sends It Right Back

Sailed away to avoid gov't control

(Newser) - Fed up with what they saw as government interference in religion, an Arizona family decided to abandon America, get on a boat, and "see where God led us." Turns out, God led them ... right back to the US. Make of that what you will. The family, Hannah Gastonguay,... More »

Court Says 'Pastafarian' Has Right to Wear Strainer Hat

Even in his official license photo

(Newser) - A Czech Republic court has struck a blow for religious freedom—ridiculous, ridiculous religious freedom. Lukás Novy, 29, successfully argued that he should be allowed to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his official, government-issued ID photo, because he was required to do so by his "... More »

Judge Gives Blessing to Cheerleaders' Bible Banners

...but only if school district approves

(Newser) - Gimme a "V" for "VICTORY!" The Kountze High School cheerleading squad can display their Bible-thumping banners at games—assuming the school district allows it—State District Judge Steven Thomas ruled yesterday. Thomas concluded that putting Christian messages on banners at public school sporting events didn't constitute... More »

Don't Call Me a Bigot for Opposing Gay Marriage

John Kass asks for tolerance of his religious views

(Newser) - John Kass embraces civil unions but opposes gay marriage as a Christian. For those who disagree, he knows what you're thinking: He must be a bigot, right? "If I hold to my faith and resist applauding the changes, I'm easily cast as some drooling white cartoon bigot... More »

White House Revamps Contraception Rules

But rules out a broader exemption

(Newser) - The Obama administration today officially issued a proposed change to its rule mandating that employers offer their female employees insurance that includes copay-free access to contraception. Under the new rule, women who work for a religiously-affiliated employer, such as a Catholic hospital, will still get free access to contraceptives, but... More »

Rick Scott Unwittingly Becomes Satanist Hero

Satanists like his support for 'inspirational messages' in school

(Newser) - When Florida Gov. Rick Scott approved a Senate bill allowing students to read inspirational messages at school assemblies and sports events, he probably wasn't expecting to get the Satanists on his side. But that's exactly what happened, as the Satanic Temple is championing the bill as a "... More »

John Walker Lindh Wins Prison Prayer Suit

Former Taliban fighter sued to pray with other Muslims

(Newser) - An American convicted of fighting alongside the Taliban must be allowed to pray daily in a group with other Muslim inmates at his high-security prison in Indiana, a federal judge ruled yesterday. Barring John Walker Lindh and his fellow Muslims from engaging in daily group ritual prayer violates a 1993... More »

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