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Sunday Shopping: Mandatory Store-Closing Laws Made Some People Blue

I just got back from a visit to Southern California, where I spoke in three cities about my book Taking Liberties Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do.

I always take questions at these events. At the event in Irvine, a member of the audience asked me about blue laws. I thought it was an interesting question because it’s an issue that doesn’t come up that much these days. Read more

Class Warfare?: Controversial Bible Elective Now Delayed In Oklahoma

Citing “unforeseen delays,” the Green Scholars Initiative has announced that a potentially unconstitutional Bible class will not be introduced in Mustang, Okla., public schools as planned this fall, and will instead delay the class until next January. The Green Scholars Initiative designed the class and is directly funded by the Green family, the owners of Hobby Lobby.
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A Biblical Catastrophe: New Details Stoke Concerns Over Okla. Public School Bible Class

Emerging details about Hobby Lobby owner Steve Green’s controversial Bible class appear to confirm concerns about its sectarian intentions. The class, which is currently being challenged by Americans United, the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, is set to enter public schools in Mustang, Okla., next year.
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Short-Sighted Sentence: Okla. Judge’s Church-Attendance Mandate Is Wrong

On Dec. 4, 2011, Tyler Alred, an Oklahoma teenager who had been drinking, ran a truck into a tree. His passenger and friend, 16-year-old John Dum, was killed.

That’s tragic. I doubt anyone would argue that Alred doesn’t deserve to be punished. But an Oklahoma judge’s response to the matter has been curious, to say the least: District Judge Mike Norman has sentenced Alred to attend church weekly for the next 10 years. Read more

Invocation Intemperance: State-Sponsored Prayer Rankles In Hawaii And Oklahoma

Official, state-sponsored prayers before government bodies are often problematic, but many legislators simply refuse to give them up.

The state of Hawaii has just learned the hard way that it’s best not to overreact when citizens protest government-endorsed religion. Read more

Constitutional Assaults: The Right’s Attack On State Constitutions

Heads up, residents of Oklahoma: There’s a move afoot to strip your state constitution of its strong language protecting separation of church and state.

Rep. Jason Nelson, an Oklahoma City Republican, has proposed a ballot initiative that would ask voters to remove Article 2, Section 5, of the state constitution. This just happens to be the part of the constitution that separates religion and government. Read more

Super Superintendent: An Educator In Rural Oklahoma Comes To The Defense Of Public Schools

Oklahoma has a private-school voucher plan aimed at children with special needs, and one of its toughest critics is a career educator in the tiny community of Mounds, population 1,200.

Donna Campo, superintendent of the Liberty Public Schools, hasn’t been shy about speaking out against any plan to divert taxpayer funds to private schools. A recent profile of Campo in the Tulsa World found her in feisty form. Read more

Hypocrisy Alert: Ex-Christian Coalition Staffer Now Opposes Religious Control Of Courts – At Least For Muslims

When it comes to the Religious Right, the hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me.

Yesterday, on the eve of the Muslim observance of Ramadan, The New York Times published a story detailing the leaders and groups behind the recent push for anti-Shariah laws in state legislatures, and – shocker! – one is former Christian Coalition Field Director Guy Rodgers. Read more

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