Next month, Alabama voters will have an opportunity to weigh in on Amendment One, which would add a provision to the state constitution that ostensibly attempts to ban Islamic, or Sharia, law. It’s hardly the first bill of its kind. Last year, state legislatures in Florida, Missouri, North Carolina and Oklahoma debated similar measures; Missouri’s bill never made it past the governor’s desk. In the other states, the bills were limited to family law.
An Indiana woman alleges that a police officer interrogated her about her religious views after pulling her over for a traffic violation. Ellen Bogan says Trooper Brian Hamilton of the State Police used the stop as an opportunity to ask her if she’d accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior.
The Hoover, Ala., School Board recently reinstated an old pre-meeting prayer policy, but it’s not as bad as you might think.
I know, I know. This is Alabama – home of “Ten Commandments judge” Roy Moore who thinks the First Amendment only applies to Christians.
A new police program in Montgomery, Ala., is raising serious constitutional concerns.
The Atlantic reports that city police, who are facing what has been described as the worst crime wave in decades, have devised a novel solution to the problem: “Operation Good Shepherd.” It ran all summer and involved training local Christian ministers, preparing them to visit crime scenes right alongside working police officers.
The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a bill that would exempt some religious employers from offering employee health insurance plans that include free birth control.
HB 108, the so-called “Religious Liberties Act of 2013,” passed 67-28. It would exempt “religiously motivated employers,” which are defined as church-affiliated or “any entity that has 10 or less shareholders, members, or partners who have religious beliefs which oppose contraceptive or abortifacient drugs, devices, or methods.”
When you’ve had it with “reality shows” and sitcoms with loud laugh tracks, public television is a welcome refuge. Where else can you see “Sesame Street,” a nature documentary and a wry British comedy all in one day?
Public television, because it is funded in part by the American taxpayer, has always been a target for the Religious Right. Leaders of that theocratic movement vacillate between trying to abolish public television and laboring to take it over.
The Supreme Court has been pretty consistent in saying that public schools may not sponsor prayer, Bible reading and other religious activities.
There is, however, a legal loophole. In a 1952 decision called Zorach v. Clauson, the high court permitted a scheme whereby public schools can allow students to leave school during the day for religious instruction elsewhere. It’s known as “released time.”
Last week, I wrote about an unfortunate federal appeals court ruling that had the effect of forcing a drug offender in Idaho to choose between staying in jail or living in a halfway house run by fundamentalist Christians of the Pentecostal variety – a faith the woman did not share.
Forget what the Constitution and the courts say, Alabama State Sen. Gerald Dial knows best.
On Tuesday, Dial introduced for the seventh time in his 10 years in office a bill that would amend the state constitution to encourage display of the Ten Commandments in public schools and other governmental buildings.
According to Dial, the Commandments don’t favor any particular religious belief; they’re just “rules we ought to live by.”
The Web has been abuzz lately over some comments made by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley.
Speaking at a Jan. 17 church service after his inauguration, Bentley told a crowd at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church, “Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”