Montana’s Original Sin
Feb 4, 2020

By Garrett Epps Let’s play a game beloved by judges and lawyers: Dueling Hypotheticals. Hypothetical one: In 1889, Congress offers statehood to an American territory, but only on condition that its constitution will set up public schools “free from sectarian control.” It promises to do so, and Montana is born. Nearly a century later, in …

Florida Vouchers Channel Millions to Anti-LGBTQ Religious Schools
Jan 28, 2020

By Trudy Ring A state-funded voucher program in Florida that helps students attend private schools sent $129 million to schools with anti-LGBTQ policies last year alone, an Orlando Sentinel investigation has found. The money went to pay tuition for 20,800 students at 156 private Christian schools with homophobic or transphobic stances, and “that means at least 14 …

Jerry Falwell Jr. plays while gay students suffer under his university’s conversion “therapy”
Jan 27, 2020

By Lucas Wilson Jerry Falwell, Jr. and the university he inherited from his dad, Liberty, has gotten a lot of bad press lately, from charges that Jr. circulated racy photos of the woman to whom he is married to his decision to hand a former male student a lucrative contract to build a fitness facility on university property at the …

School Voucher SCOTUS Case Isn’t About ‘Choice,’ It’s About Coerced Support For Religion
Jan 23, 2020

By Andrew L. Seidel Before walking over to the Senate to preside over Donald Trump’s impeachment, this morning Chief Justice John Roberts presided over one of the most significant cases before the Supreme Court, Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue. Some argue that this is a case about religious discrimination or school choice. It’s not. …

Religious-schools case heads to a Supreme Court skeptical of stark lines between church and state
Jan 21, 2020

By Robert Barnes It is a blessed time at Stillwater Christian School, where Scripture adorns the gymnasium wall, enrollment is climbing and Head of School Jeremy Marsh awaits the four new classrooms that will be built in the spring. It is a place that embraces the beliefs that sinners avoid eternal condemnation only through Jesus Christ, that …

Trump Said He’ll Double-Down On Prayer In School And Give More Federal Tax Money To Religious Groups
Jan 16, 2020

By Dominic Holden When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, moderates and liberals noted he hadn’t embraced the strident right-wing agenda of his evangelical running mate, Mike Pence. But on Thursday, Trump’s White House kicked off a press briefing with a few words of fealty to the faithful base: “Happy Religious Freedom Day.” And what …

Missouri Bill Would Jail Librarians Who Let Kids Check Out “Inappropriate” Books
Jan 16, 2020

By Hemant Mehta One of the perks of the library system — besides your ability to check out books for free and reserve space and equipment — is that the larger ones will have just about any book you need. If they don’t have it, there’s a good chance they can acquire it for you. …

Christian school expels teen after she posed with rainbow birthday cake, mother says
Jan 15, 2020 · 1 

By Michael Brice-Saddler Kimberly Alford says she typically plans big birthday celebrations for her daughter. But when Kayla Kenney turned 15 late last month, the Louisville mother opted to organize a smaller gathering of friends and family at Texas Roadhouse, one of her daughter’s favorite restaurants. Ahead of the party, Alford instructed a bakery to …

With STDs Rising, Advocates Hope State Legislators Will Fix Harmful Sex Ed Laws
Jan 10, 2020

By Martha Kempner As state legislative sessions kick off this month, advocates will push for improved sexuality education policies to curb the alarming rates of sexually transmitted infections and diseases (STIs and STDs) among young people. States like Montana—where gonorrhea numbers are at a 40-year high—and Michigan have reported surges in STIs like chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. These …

Mike Huckabee Blames “Education System” for Christian Man Who Stabbed Five Jews
Dec 31, 2019 · 7 

By Hemant Mehta In the wake of an attack that took the lives of five Hasidic Jews as they celebrated Hanukkah, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee took to FOX Business to explain what caused the incident. It wasn’t anti-Semitism or mental illness. Instead, he blamed public school education. Because too much education is always the bogeyman for the …

Alabama School Criticized for Hosting Baptism With Staffers and Football Coach
Dec 19, 2019

By Hemant Mehta Not for the first time, a public high school football team has engaged in an act of Christian worship by hosting a baptism for players. It’s happening this time at Reeltown High School in Notasulga, Alabama. Last month, students participated in a baptism (which would have been fine on its own) on school property (!) …

‘License to discriminate’? Hershey charitable school seeks to exempt itself from Pa. oversight.
Dec 19, 2019

By Bob Fernandez Pennsylvania’s richest charity, the 2,000-student Milton Hershey School for poor children, is seeking through sealed court actions to exempt itself from the state’s discrimination laws even as it spends millions of dollars defending itself against federal discrimination lawsuits. The politically connected institution says it deserves the same discrimination exemptions as neighborhood parochial schools that …