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Bad Day At The Beach: Fla. City Official Apologizes For Supporting Only Christian Groups

Government officials have an obligation to represent all of us, no matter what their personal religious beliefs may be.

Occasionally some officials lose sight of this fact. It happened in Vero Beach, Fla., recently with near-disastrous results for Mayor Craig Fletcher.

During a meeting of the city council, members of the Humanists of the Treasure Coast asked that the council officially recognize Humanist Recognition Week. Such requests are pretty routine and are normally granted without much fanfare.   Read more

Commandments Case In Florida County Is Dismissed

 

A six-year battle in federal court over the fate of a Ten Commandments monument at a Florida courthouse has come to an end.

 Senior U.S. District Judge Maurice M. Paul granted a motion by the American Civil Liberties Union to voluntarily dismiss the ACLU of Florida v. Dixie County case because its plaintiff was no longer planning to move to Dixie County. Thus the plaintiff had no legal standing to challenge the six-ton granite monument, the Ocala Star-Banner reported. Read more

AU Chapters Oppose Florida Anti-Islam Bill

 

Americans United chapters in Florida have asked lawmakers to reject legislation intended to marginalize Muslims.

SB 58 appears on paper to merely forbid Florida’s courts from enforcing foreign laws. In reality, however, critics say it is an attempt to validate claims that Americans are in danger of falling under the domination of Islamic shariah law. Read more

Stormy Weather: Why Is Pat Robertson Refusing To Use His Hurricane-Deflecting Powers To Help His Friends In The GOP?

The Republican Party is meeting in Tampa this week to formally nominate Mitt Romney as its presidential candidate. The convention was supposed to get under way today, but there’s a big problem: Tropical Storm Isaac. Florida officials have declared a state of emergency as the storm, which is expected to be a Category 2 hurricane by the time it makes landfall, bears down on the Gulf Coast.

This had led several people to ask: Why is Pat Robertson sitting on his hands? Read more

Schools For Scandal: Fla. Voucher Program Proves A Boon To Con Artists

It’s an article of faith among school voucher proponents that if we move toward a privatized system of education, competition will spur the creation of excellent schools.

That’s the theory. How does it work out in real life?

Not so well. In Florida, which has been using students with physical and learning disabilities as subjects in a privatization experiment, parents are learning the hard way that many private schools don’t really care about educating children. Their owners are just interested in making a fast buck. Read more

Florida Folly: Constitutional Change Would Harm Religious Liberty, Clergy Say

Americans United often points out the church-state separation is not only good for government, it’s also good for religion.

Yesterday, three members of the clergy – a Baptist minister, a Presbyterian minister and a rabbi – made that clear in a letter to Florida legislators. They wrote to oppose SJR 1218, a measure that tears down the church-state wall erected by the state constitution. Read more

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