"American Atheists Logo" by BDEngler / CC BY-SA 4.0

Atheist Group Grades States on “Religious Equality”; There Are Lots of Failures

Jan 8, 2020

By Hemant Mehta

Which states and the best and worst for atheists? Or at least people who support church/state separation?

American Atheists just put out a scorecard ranking states based on four groups of issues. There are the legal ones, like if they have an establishment clause in the state constitution, whether they allow tax money to fund religious institutions, and if there are religious tests for public office (even if they’re not enforceable). There’s also “special privileges for religion,” like if blasphemy is punishable, if states say you have to be religious to officiate a wedding, and if personalized license plates can raise money for religious organizations.

They also looked at education: if they prevent child marriages, block conversion therapy, ban female genital mutilation, support comprehensive sex education, support science education, etc. Finally, they graded on health care: Did the states permit assisted death, oppose fetal “disposal” requirements, require vaccinations, and prevent hospitals or pharmacies from rejecting patients for religious reasons?

There’s more to it, but that’s the gist.

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