Faith-healing follower sentenced for not reporting sex abuse
Feb 15, 2019 · 1 

By the Associated Press NAMPA, Idaho — An Idaho woman who refused to report her husband’s yearslong sexual abuse of young relatives and instead prayed for “the demon” to leave him was ordered Thursday to spend a year in a prison treatment program. Judge Christopher Nye said that if Sarah Kester, 51, fails to successfully …

Trump Official’s Anti-Vaxxer Wife Wants to “Bring Back” Childhood Diseases
Feb 15, 2019

By David G. McAfee An anti-vaxxer who’s married to a top White House official said she wants to “bring back our childhood diseases,” like the measles. Darla Shine is the wife of White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Bill Shine (a former FOX News executive). She was apparently responding to a CNN report on the measles …

In Iowa, Religious Student Groups Get a License to Discriminate Against LGBTQ People
Feb 15, 2019 · 1 

By Lisa Needham A federal district court in Iowa ruled last week in favor of a religious student group that openly rejects LGBTQ individuals—a victory in the ongoing conservative battle to give religious organizations license to discriminate in the name of faith. The case stems from a conservative Christian student group at the University of Iowa that sought …

‘Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act’ seeks to strip gay marriage rights
Feb 14, 2019

By Gwen Aviles Nearly four years after the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal throughout the U.S., Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are attempting to turn back the clock with a bill aimed at banning gay marriage in the state. The “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act,” which was first proposed in 2016, seeks to “defend natural …

Democratic House Chair Purposely Omits “So Help Me God” When Administering Oath
Feb 13, 2019

By Hemant Mehta When the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on gun violence Wednesday morning, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the chair of the group, administered the oath to witnesses who were about the testify. When he did that, he left out the phrase “So help me God.” A Republican questioned him about that immediately afterward. Nadler chalked …

Trump lauds religious adoption agencies for refusing service to same-sex couples
Feb 13, 2019

By Zack Ford President Donald Trump openly endorsed discrimination by foster and adoption agencies, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning. After welcoming Chad and Melissa Buck, a couple from Michigan who he applauded for having adopted five children, he said, “Unfortunately, the Michigan adoption charity that brought the Buck family together is now …

Day of Prayer bill passes Kentucky House Education Committee hearing
Feb 13, 2019

By Chris Williams FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) – A Day of Prayer in Kentucky schools bill, also known as House Bill 166, passed during a hearing held by the Kentucky House Education Committee on Feb. 12. This bill would designate the last Wednesday of September as A Day of Prayer for students in Kentucky. The bill’s sponsor …

Washington measles outbreak draws crowd to hearing on vaccine law
Feb 11, 2019

By Lena H. Sun and Kristen Millares Young OLYMPIA, Wash. — Anti-vaccine activists packed a public hearing Friday to oppose a bill that would make it harder for families to opt out of vaccination requirements for measles, mumps and rubella amid the state’s worst measles outbreak in more than two decades. An estimated 700 people, most of …

Supreme Court Conservatives Allow Execution of Muslim Prisoner Despite Religious Freedom Violation
Feb 11, 2019

By Andrew L. Seidel The five conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court were in such a rush to see Domineque Ray executed that they ignored the First Amendment. This is because the condemned prisoner was a Muslim, not a member of the favored religion: Christianity. Two weeks before his execution, Ray met with the warden, …

Supreme Court blocks Louisiana abortion law from taking effect
Feb 8, 2019

By Ariane de Vogue The Supreme Court Thursday blocked a Louisiana abortion access law from going into effect for now, dealing a victory to opponents of the law who argued it could decimate “safe and legal” abortions in the state. The order was 5-4 with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court’s four liberals voting …

At National Prayer Breakfast, Trump Pledges, ‘I Will Never Let You Down’
Feb 8, 2019

By Tom Gjelten With his opening words at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump made clear he saw the largely conservative crowd as a friendly audience, one he was eager to please. “I will never let you down,” he said. “I can say that. Never.” In his first appearance at the event in 2017, Trump …

Senators Can and Must Ask About Nominees’ Religious Beliefs
Feb 8, 2019

By Andrew L. Seidel The old rule tells us that politics and religion are not to be mentioned in polite conversation. In an effort to ease nomination hearings for some of President Trump’s more extreme nominees, conservatives—and at least one Democrat—are seeking to graft this rule of etiquette onto the Constitution. The new political attack is …