Missouri officials can’t be forced to give grant money to a church seeking public funds to refurbish a playground, a federal court ruled recently.
Greene County, Mo., police cars now read “In God We Trust,” and some residents aren’t pleased by the change.
In a letter to the Springfield News-Leader’s “Answer Man,” Laura Entwisle wrote, “I recently saw a Greene County sheriff's deputy's car with letters on the bumper that say, ‘In God We Trust.’ I called the sheriff's office and was told that Sheriff Jim Arnott decided to do this.”
Responding to concerns from Americans United, officials in Boone County, Mo., have covered up a Christian symbol on a public war memorial.
The action sparked complaints from some people in the area, but AU said it was the right thing to do.
The memorial in the city of Columbia listed the names of two local men who died during the first Persian Gulf War. It also included an ichthus, a symbol sometimes called a “Christian fish.”
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.
Tomorrow and Saturday I’ll be attending the Values Voter Summit, an annual Religious Right confab sponsored by the Family Research Council, American Family Association Action and other groups.
People sometimes ask me what the country would be like if these groups managed to achieve total political power. It isn’t necessary to speculate about that. You can see the results of it in several states right now.
When members of the Republic School Board of Education in Missouri voted 4-0 to remove Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five from its curriculum, I’ll bet they had no idea the backlash they’d receive.
But it just goes to show, making a stink of things can really go a long way. Thanks to Americans United and our allies (including the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library!), the board has now agreed to reconsider its misguided decision.
Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five is considered a modern classic. That doesn’t mean it’s a particularly easy read. Indeed, it deals with some fairly heady topics. When I first encountered it in high school, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. But it sure made me think, which, in my view, is what a good novel should do.
Funny thing about that thinking – some people see it as dangerous. And a few of those people sit on the school board in Republic, Mo.
The people of Missouri deserve better.
Not only has the state’s legislature passed a measure that could open the door to government-promoted religion – it plans to deliberately mislead Missourians about it.
H.J.R. 2 will appear on the November 2012 ballot. It’s an amendment that will add language to the state’s constitution codifying the right of Missourians to express their religious beliefs in public places, including public schools.
Come November, the people of Missouri will vote on whether they have the right to pray privately in public places – a right that all Americans already have.
Sadly, some legislators in the Show Me State don’t seem to get that. That’s why both the House and Senate just passed the Religious Freedom in Public Places Act (HJR 2), a measure that proposes a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a citizen’s right to pray and worship on public property, including public schools.
The influx of “Tea Party” conservatives who flooded the U.S. Congress and many state legislatures earlier this year promised to focus on jobs and the economy. So why are getting a relentless barrage of bills on social issues?
Consider Missouri. The state House of Representatives there recently passed a so-called “Religious Freedom Amendment” that Religious Right groups think is wonderful. Everyone else ought to be terrified.