FlaglerLive | January 16, 2015
Kelvin Cochran, the former Atlanta fire chief, and his supporters, are using the veil of religious freedom to justify homophobic and bigoted views that have no place in the workplace.
FlaglerLive | January 20, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Florida and six other states could not ban inmates from growing beards for religious reasons. The case originated in Arkansas.
FlaglerLive | December 24, 2014
Susan Hemeryck, 54, of Tallahassee, entered the Capitol at 11:23 a.m. and told an on-duty police officer that “she was sorry and had to take the Satanic display,” according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement charging affidavit.
FlaglerLive | September 18, 2014
Joan Rivers makes it into heaven and has a few choice words with God before discovering that Robin Williams got in despite Catholic prohibitions of heaven for suicides: God made an exception.
FlaglerLive | June 22, 2014
The United States had no business invading and occupying Iraq in 2003, it has no business now arbitrating a religious war between Sunnis and Shiites. The mayhem unleashed by the Bush administration is being made worse by further American meddling.
FlaglerLive | June 18, 2014
The Bunnell board’s unanimous decision, if ratified by the Bunnell City Commission, would likely prevent the half-way house from opening its doors, but the city and the targeted ministry are locked in a federal legal battle which the proposed ordinance could exacerbate.
FlaglerLive | May 22, 2014
In a brief filed Monday, lawyers for the Department of Corrections argued that the law allows Florida to scrap the kosher meals because of the financial burden placed on the “cash-strapped agency.” The state has spent more than $200,000 on the lawsuit so far.
FlaglerLive | May 22, 2014
In what could be a first-of-its-kind case in Florida, a state appeals court Wednesday weighed into a burial dispute and said the cremated remains of a man are not “property” under law, and may not be split between his divorced father and mother, so each could have some remains to bury.
FlaglerLive | May 14, 2014
Rather than institute a new policy that would limit displays as some expected, the state Department of Management Services is trying to make the application process easier for groups seeking to put up temporary displays in the Capitol complex. The Satanic Temple will give Florida another chance after being blocked from putting up a holiday display last year.
FlaglerLive | May 5, 2014
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision today allowing explicitly religious prayers at local government meetings had two direct connections to Palm Coast and Bunnell. So the ruling had particular resonance locally—happily for some, not so happily for others.
FlaglerLive | April 20, 2014
Every week since December at St. Thomas Church in Palm Coast, Rabbi Merrill Shapiro and Rev. Robert Elfvin have led an interfaith seminar, open to all, on the Bible as it is read through Jewish and Christian eyes. No ideas are out of bounds and some are off the wall, but participants find it bracing, eye-opening and overdue. Ezra Salkin reports.
FlaglerLive | April 11, 2014
Inmates contend that the peanut butter, sardines and cabbage served up daily by the Florida Department of Corrections are designed to discourage them from signing up for the kosher meals or to punish inmates if they do, and that the chow is far from what a federal judge had in mind last year when she ordered the state to start serving kosher meals to inmates.
FlaglerLive | February 15, 2014
Even for a pope as refreshingly humble and open-minded as Francis, it’s too much to expect that he will remake the worldwide Catholic Church into one big hippie commune, argues Cary McMullen. Those on the political left may eventually be just as disappointed in him as those on the political right.
FlaglerLive | January 7, 2014
The threat of a lawsuit is hovering over the state’s rejection of a satanic display, and the rotunda exhibit policy is set to undergo a staff review. But the prevailing view among those who have recently jumped at the chance to use the public floor space to express their beliefs is to simply let everyone have their say.
Pierre Tristam | December 20, 2013
The Rick Scott administration’s illiterate interpretation of the Bible and the first amendment turned the Florida Capitol rotunda into a comedy of absurd Christmas displays and discrimination, all of which could have been avoided with a reason and respect–for the holidays and the Constitution.
FlaglerLive | December 19, 2013
The state Department of Management Services on Wednesday denied an attempt by “Satanists” to put up a display in the Florida Capitol, which currently showcases a Nativity scene, a Festivus pole made of beer cans, posters from atheists, and a crudely-made Flying Spaghetti Monster.
FlaglerLive | December 10, 2013
The state Department of Management Services has received three more applications, including two from atheist groups and one from satanists, to put up displays after approving a banner for the Freedom From Religion Foundation and an aluminum pole — made of empty beer cans– – to mark the parody festival Festivus.
FlaglerLive | December 9, 2013
A nearly 6-foot-tall pole made from emptied Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans, marking the Festivus holiday once parodied on Seinfeld, will be put up in the Florida Capitol this week as a not-so-subtle protest to the recent placement of a Christian nativity scene by the Florida Prayer Network.
FlaglerLive | November 28, 2013
Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS was a bit like being waterboarded, but matters improved very quickly when the channel changed and the aromas of the day began invading the house, along with just the right spirits: Praise be to Beaujolais Nouveau.
FlaglerLive | June 24, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case from Greece, N.Y., where government meetings are started with distinctly Christian prayers, as they are at Bunnell City Commission meetings. The case is being taken to the court by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
FlaglerLive | June 5, 2013
Rev. Beth Gardner, the pastor at Bunnell’s First United Methodist Church, heard the news of Leonard Lynn’s murder 10 minutes before services Sunday. He had been a member of her church community–as was his murderer, Erick Niemi.
Pierre Tristam | March 31, 2013
Several years ago around Christmas I was standing at a Walmart checkout counter with my son when a stranger behind me felt compelled to make me his homophobia’s bosom buddy. “What’s wrong with that?” I told him. “My son is gay.” My son was 2 at the time.
FlaglerLive | March 28, 2013
Florida Atlantic University Professor Deandre Poole’s assignment involving the word “Jesus” on the floor drew in a politically motivated protest from Gov. Rick Scott while the university gave in to his demand that the lesson not be taught anymore.
FlaglerLive | March 27, 2013
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over all of Florida, ruled that the Lakeland City Commission’s custom of opening meetings with a prayer was constitutional, though the court sidestepped the city’s focus on Christian prayers, and its closed door to atheists, agnostics, humanists or other non-clergy representatives.
FlaglerLive | March 18, 2013
Sarah Palin urged her faithfuls to “cling to your god, your guns, your Constitution,” a seamless ideology that would have Jesus waving the American flag with one hand and clicking off the safety of his assault rifle with the other, writes Cary McMullen.
FlaglerLive | March 13, 2013
76-year-old Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires is the first-ever South American pope, the first non-European pope in a millennium, and the first-ever pope to name himself Francis (Francis I), after St. Francis, patron saint of the poor.
FlaglerLive | February 10, 2013
In twice calling for a return of school prayer in the last three weeks, Flagler County School Board member John Fischer did so not from good will but out of angry resentment for “special interests” and “political correctness” that he claims are standing in the way of “our rights.” He is offensively wrong, and the school board should resist his call to prayer.
FlaglerLive | January 29, 2013
In oncologists’ offices and Alzheimer’s nursing homes, illness is not “a portrait in blacks and whites, but unending shades of gray, involving the most profound of personal, moral, and religious questions.” Including when may it be right to help end a life.
FlaglerLive | January 23, 2013
As Flagler County schools continues to grapple with bullying through various forums, middle school student Bayli Silberstein in Leesburg sees a Gay-Straight-Alliance club at her school as one measure against bullying–but school officials have so far resisted, in sharp contrast with their admission of other clubs, such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
FlaglerLive | January 17, 2013
The World Changers of Florida, Inc. is giving Bibles to students at several dozen high Florida schools. It’s wrong. Students of all faiths and traditions attend public schools and they deserve to be respected. We interfere with an already stressful time by making some of them feel like outsiders.