DOJ backs Kentucky photographer who won’t do gay weddings
Jul 3, 2020

By Brooke Sopelsa The Department of Justice is backing a Kentucky wedding photographer who is suing the city of Louisville over an ordinance banning local businesses from discriminating against gay customers. The DOJ’s “statement of interest,” filed this week in federal court, asserts that the photographer, Chelsey Nelson, is likely to succeed in her claim, …

The Coronavirus Spread In A Dallas Megachurch’s Choir And Orchestra. Then It Hosted Mike Pence.
Jul 2, 2020

By Rosalind Adams, Dan Vergano, and Ellie Hall At least five members of the choir and orchestra at the Dallas megachurch visited by Vice President Mike Pence this weekend tested positive for the coronavirus in June, according to Facebook posts and internal church emails reviewed by BuzzFeed News. An additional orchestra member had symptoms several days after …

Humanist Candidate Jillian Freeland Will Face GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn in Election
Jul 1, 2020

By Hemant Mehta Since 2007, Rep. Doug Lamborn has represented Colorado’s 5th District in Congress. This is a guy who has argued Humanist chaplains should not be allowed in the military because the “chaplain corps is historically a religious institution.” His protests led to the rejection of one well-qualified applicant in 2018. One reason he’s been able to promote this form …

Trump’s white evangelical approval slips, Pew finds, but 82 percent still likely to vote for him
Jul 1, 2020

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey As cases of the novel coronavirus rise and protests have erupted over racial injustice across the nation, President Trump’s approval rating has dropped among his base of white evangelicals, though the vast majority still plan to vote for him, a new survey shows. White evangelicals remain the religious group most supportive of the president, …

Trump appointee at USAID repeatedly made anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ comments, said ‘female empowerment is a civilizational calamity’
Jun 30, 2020

By Andrew Kaczynski and Nathan McDermott A Trump administration appointee at the United States’ agency responsible for foreign aid has a history of inflammatory rhetoric aimed at refugees, the LGBTQ community and women. The comments come from Merritt Corrigan, the recently appointed deputy White House liaison at the US Agency for International Development, in tweets …

Supreme Court opens door to state funding for religious schools
Jun 30, 2020

By Ariane de Vogue and Devan Cole In a ruling that will open the door to more public funding for religious education, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of parents in Montana seeking to use a state scholarship program to send their children to religious schools. The court said that a Montana tax credit program …

Mississippi Lawmakers Vote to Replace Racist State Flag With Religious One
Jun 29, 2020 · 3 

By Hemant Mehta Mississippi lawmakers voted today to replace the state flag and remove the Confederate symbol that’s currently on it. Governor Tate Reeves has already said he plans to sign the bill. But whatever the new flag will look like, it will have to include the words “In God We Trust,” replacing racism with religion. I posted about this possibility …

The Separation of Church and State Is Breaking Down Under Trump
Jun 29, 2020

By Micah Schwartzman, Richard Schragger, and Nelson Tebbe The separation of Church and state is supposed to prevent government favoritism of religion in the United States. For most of the past century, the Supreme Court interpreted the establishment clause of the First Amendment to mean that government cannot “pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, …

Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana abortion clinic law
Jun 29, 2020

By Mark Sherman The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics, reasserting a commitment to abortion rights over fierce opposition from dissenting conservative justices in the first big abortion case of the Trump era. Chief Justice John Roberts joined with his four more liberal colleagues in ruling that the law requiring doctors …

Catholic group files lawsuit against Rehoboth Beach over Nativity scene ban
Jun 26, 2020

By Randall Chase A Catholic fraternal organization is suing a popular Delaware beach resort in federal court over its decision to end a decades-long practice of allowing the display of a Christmas Nativity scene on public property. The Knights of Columbus Star of the Sea Council contends that the 2018 decision by Rehoboth Beach officials …

The Global Divide on Homosexuality Persists
Jun 25, 2020

By Jacob Poushter and Nicholas Kent Despite major changes in laws and norms surrounding the issue of same-sex marriage and the rights of LGBT people around the world, public opinion on the acceptance of homosexuality in society remains sharply divided by country, region and economic development. As it was in 2013, when the question was last asked, attitudes on …

Palm Beach County residents express outrage over mask requirement: ‘Devil’s laws’
Jun 25, 2020 · 8 

By Zack Budryk A Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners public comment session went viral Wednesday after residents denounced mandatory masking laws as “devil’s laws” that would “throw God’s wonderful breathing system out the door.” One attendee, Sylvia Ball, said she was “very sad to see the authorities stomping on our constitutional rights,” adding, …