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church and state
Posts tagged as: church and state

Commission Weighs Repeal of Ban on
Public Funding For Religious Groups

| January 21, 2018

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero urged a Constitution Revision Commission panel to repeal a constitutional ban on state support for religious groups.

Florida Voters May Get Chance to Lift Ban On Tax Subsidies to Religious Schools

| December 1, 2017

A ban on state support for religious groups would be removed from the Florida Constitution under a proposal approved Wednesday by a Constitution Revision Commission panel.

Stunner On Birth Control: Trump’s Moral Exemption Is Geared To Just 2 Groups

| October 16, 2017

A separate rule allowing employers that are not religious organization to deny contraceptive coverage to employees is geared toward anti-abortion groups, but its legal status is doubtful.

The Legislature’s Mullahs Threaten
Religious Freedom in Florida Schools

| March 31, 2017

The Florida Legislature is about to approve a bill that would give religion preferential treatment in public schools, destroying a balance between secular rights and already inviolate personal expression.

Bill Vastly Diminishing Separation of Church and School Passes Florida Senate, 23-13

| March 24, 2017

The proposal would allow religious speakers and messaging at school-sponsored events, and would allow students to engage in organized prayer groups during the school day and with the participation–though not the sponsorship–of school personnel.

Citing Secular Protocol, Florida Athletic Association Rejects Schools’ Claim That Prayer Was Muzzled

| October 22, 2016

Florida law does not require, and for good and valid reason does not permit, the FHSAA to promote prayer through state-run public address systems, the athletic association argues.

Tampa Christian School Files Suit Over Ban on Loudspeaker Prayer at Football Game

| September 28, 2016

The nonprofit that operates Cambridge Christian School in Tampa said the Florida High School Athletic Association violated its civil rights by banning the private school and its opponent from joining in prayer over the loudspeaker at the game.

“My Concern Is The Christian Kids”: A Pastor Raises Objections to Yoga in Flagler Schools

| December 16, 2015

A local pastor complained to the school board that yoga and meditation in a wellness program at three Flagler County schools is a violation of the separation of church and state. The pastor largely misunderstands the $30,000 program, a grant through State Farm Insurance.

How Does Lawbreaking Kim Davis Get to Keep Her Job?

| September 22, 2015

The law of the land isn’t an item on an a la carte menu from which elected officials can pick and choose, argues Nancy Smith, who says Kim Davis should have been removed from office by the governor.

When Bigots Hide Behind Religious Freedom

| 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.

Supreme Court Removes Leon County Judge For Running Religious Business Out of Her Chambers

| October 30, 2014

Leon County Judge Judith Hawkins was running a business called Gaza Road Ministries, used a judicial assistant and sold her own books to attorneys who appeared before her.

Satanic Temple, Come On Down: Florida Eases Holiday Display Bids at State Capitol

| 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.

As State Mulls Review, Christians and Atheists Agree: Keep Florida Capitol a Free Speech Zone

| 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.

Before Florida Made an Ass of Christmas, Philadelphia Gave Us a Founding Nativity Scene

| 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.

Deemed “Grossly Offensive,” Satanic Display Is Barred from Florida Capitol’s Christmas Gallery

| 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.

Satanists Now Want to Join Beer Pole and Nativity Scene at Florida Capitol

| 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.

Nativity Scene in Florida Capitol Will Share Space With Beer-Can Pole Celebrating Festivus

| 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.

Flagler’s Public Safety Council Endorses Court-Ordering Ex-Felons to Evangelical Recovery House

| October 10, 2013

The council—a collection of local police, court and other government agencies—provided the endorsement sight unseen and legalities untested, and based exclusively on a brief presentation by Charles Silano, the local pastor. Open Door Re-Entry and Recovery Ministry will be run out of a former church on Booe Street in Bunnell.

In God’s Name: Polk Sheriff Grady Judd, a Modern-Day Comstock, Is Elected State Sheriffs Association President

| August 11, 2013

Grady Judd is known for his colorful language and controversial quotes, sometimes evoking Anthony Comstock, the head of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice in the late 1800s, as he crusades against sex and porn and brandishes god’s name at every opportunity.

U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide Legality of Bunnell’s Government Prayers, Via Greece

| 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.

Florida Government’s DCF Looks to Religious Organizations to Recruit Foster Parents

| June 3, 2013

Looking for foster parents, DCF Director of Faith Based Development Erik Braun told child welfare professionals at a conference that Florida has 12 million residents affiliated with a Catholic or Protestant church, 1 million Jews and 400,000 to 600,000 Muslims.

Church-State Separation Be Damned: Bunnell Sponsors 3rd Prayer Day, Invoking “God’s City”

| May 2, 2013

Bunnell marked the national Day of Prayer for the third year with its own sponsored religious event, a distinctly Christian, evangelical-like service that features commissioners and the mayor offering prayers and pastors invoking Jesus’s name and god’s law above all others.

In a Decision With Local Sway, Federal Court Upholds Prayers Before Government Meetings

| 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.

John Fischer’s Hate Speech

| 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.

Public Schools Are No Place for Bible-Thumping–Or Any Other Thumping

| 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.

Put God Back in Public Schools?

| January 5, 2013

If we’re going to put God back in schools, which God are we talking about? Adam Hamilton, founding pastor of a United Methodist Church, calmly argues against the notion that God has ever left the public schools, and need not be forced back in.

Crossing Out Amendment 8: Public Money Does Not Belong in Religious Schools

| October 29, 2012

Religious groups have no rights to public money when it comes to funding private schools, precisely because religious indoctrination is part and parcel of the mission of those schools, and taxpayers should not have to pay for that, argues Cary McMullen.

For Opponents of Amendment 8, “Religious Freedom” Has Never Been Under Threat

| October 15, 2012

The so-called “religious freedom” proposal to amend the Florida constitution would create a government bureaucracy to channel tax dollars to religious organizations, its opponents say, jeopardizing the very religious freedoms it claims to be protecting.

The Fear of Mormons

| June 4, 2012

“Making Mormons look bad helps others feel good,” J. Spencer Fluhman, a Mormon scholar, argues, but it neither explains nor justifies the unresolved prejudices and self-serving veils that cling to Mormon dogma.

Too Much of a God Thing

| April 4, 2012

A new survey finds signs of public uneasiness with the mixing of religion and politics. The number of people who say there has been too much religious talk by political leaders stands at an all-time high since the Pew Research Center began asking the question more than a decade ago.

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