Archive for the ‘church/state separation’ Category

License Plate Redux

In atheism, church/state separation on May 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Oh no, more religious license plates.

This time it’s South Carolina, but the plate is going to look just like Florida’s old one.

Actually though, I don’t have a problem with this cross plate… as long as you allow any group who can get 400 orders to get a plate. Which means atheists in South Carolina ( I wonder if there are 400 of them ) should band together and order a plate with the scarlett A on it.

What bother me worse is Arkansas’s plate, which I’ve written about before.

It contains a picture of the Arkansas state capitol building with the slogan “In God We Trust” at the bottom. To me, this is more a violation of the first amendments establishment clause than one saying “I Believe”. After all the “I Believe” obviously refers to the person driving the car, not the state. While “In God We Trust” implies the collective state government of the people.

Follow the link below to read the whole story about South Carolina’s new license plates.

Cross could adorn state license plates


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National Simulcast For Church-State Separation This Wednesday

In atheism, atheist, church/state separation on March 25, 2008 at 3:47 am

Hemant over at friendlyatheist.com writes:

All the details on this simulcast are here.

Actors, musicians and comedians will join church-state activists from across the country March 26 to put church-state separation on the national agenda during the 2008 election season.

In movie theatres in 25 cities across the nation, interested citizens will gather to learn about the threats to church-state separation and to demand that presidential hopefuls and candidates for other offices answer questions about key issues dealing with individual freedom. A list of 10 great questions to ask candidates will be featured.

It’s no longer 25 cities, either; several more venues have been added bringing the number up to 37.

Here’s the full list of those cities which will host the event:

State City Theatre Time
AR Little Rock Breckenridge Stadium 12 5:00pm
CA Sacramento Natomas Marketplace Stadium 16 6:00pm
CA San Diego Mira Mesa Stadium 18 6:00pm
CA Mountain View Century Cinemas 16 6:00pm
CA Woodland Hills Promenade 16 6:00pm
CO Denver Denver Pavilions 15 7:00pm
FL Tampa Citrus Park Stadium 20 6:00pm
FL Jacksonville Regency Jax 24 6:00pm
GA Atlanta RGL Perimeter Pointe 10 6:00pm
IL Savoy Savoy 5:00pm
IL Batavia Randall 5:00pm
IL Woodridge Cinemark @ Seven Bridges 5:00pm
IL Peoria Willow Knolls 5:00pm
IN Lafayette Eastside 6:00pm
IN Portage Portage 5:00pm
IN Indianapolis Galaxy Stadium 14 6:00pm
MA Boston Fenway 13 6:00pm
MI Canton Canton Cinema 6:00pm
MI Lansing Lansing Mall Cinema 6:00pm
MI Kalamazoo Kalamazoo 6:00pm
MI Ann Arbor Quality 6:00pm
MI Saginaw Saginaw/Quad 6:00pm
MO Springfield Springfield 5:00pm
MO Columbia Forum 5:00pm
NC Raleigh Movies @ North Hills 14 6:00pm
NY New York Union Square Stadium 14 6:00pm
OH Columbus Georgesville Square Stadium 16 6:00pm
OK Oklahoma City Tinseltown USA 5:00pm
OR Portland Lloyd Center 10 Cinema 6:00pm
PA Philadelphia Riverview Plaza 17 6:00pm
PA Harrisburg Regal Harrisburg 14 6:00pm
SC Columbia Sandhill Cinema 16 6:00pm
TN Nashville Opry Mills Stadium 20 Plus Imax 5:00pm
TX Houston Houston Marq*e Stadium 23 5:00pm
TX Austin Metropolitan Stadium 14 5:00pm
VA Glen Allen Virginia Center Stadium 20 6:00pm
WA Seattle Pacific Place 11 6:00pm

If you’re close to any of those cities and you can make it, consider coming out to support the event! All you need to do is reserve your free tickets.

If anyone is planning on going to the Cinemark @ Seven Bridges in Woodridge, IL, let me know!

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[From National Simulcast For Church-State Separation This Wednesday]

My wife and I will be at the Little Rock one. I’m going to take pictures and blog about it once it’s over.

Workplace Religious Freedom Act (HR 1431)

In church/state separation on February 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm

HR Bill 1431 is called the “The Workplace Religious Freedom Act.” Thomas.gov sums it up like this:

Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2007 – Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to modify the definition of “religion” for purposes of coverage under that Act by requiring employers to make an affirmative and bona fide effort to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of employees. Defines the term “perform the essential functions” to exclude practices having a temporary or tangential impact on an employee’s ability to perform job functions, such as practices relating to clothing or taking time off work. Sets forth factors to consider in determining whether an accommodation causes undue hardship. Defines “employee” to require an ability to perform essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodation.

Requires removal of the conflict between employment requirements and the employee’s religious practices in order for an accommodation to be considered reasonable.

Considers an employer’s refusal to permit an employee’s use of general leave to remove a religious conflict solely because the leave will be used to accommodate religious practices to be an unlawful employment practice.
Prohibits the amendments made by this Act from applying to conduct occurring prior to enactment.

So this means you could be fired or not hired in the first place based on your religious belief? I admit, I’m not good at parsing this kind of language.
[Via Friendly Atheist » Workplace Religious Freedom Act (HR 1431)]

Archbishop of Canterbury argues for Islamic law in Britain

In church/state separation on February 7, 2008 at 10:11 pm

This story is just plain weird. Either that , or this is some post modern garbage. The idea of allowing religious laws for certain religious people, is obscene to me.

[Read Archbishop of Canterbury argues for Islamic law in Britain -Times Online ]

In God We Trust License Plate, but it’s okay, because it’s for old people.

In church/state separation on November 8, 2007 at 5:31 am

While at the Revenue Office (we don’t have DMVs in Arkansas) renewing my driver’s license, I noticed something interesting. Among the various custom license plates for sale (including the controversial “Choose Life” anti-abortion plate) was quite a nice plate depicting the State Capitol Building. We have a nice capitol building, it looks very much like the US Capitol Building. But, wait, what is this?

igwe_lg.jpg

Wait. In God We Trust? Um. So.. my tax dollars paid for this? How did this ever make it through into a law without somebody calling out for separation of church and state? So, Google to the rescue.

Specialty license plate supporting senior citizens’ home-delivered meal program provided by Arkansas Senior Citizen’s Centers.

Oh, it makes perfect sense now. If it’s to help senior citizens, then it can’t be bad, right? I’m all for having a license plate to raise money to bring meals to older people, but this is pretty despicable. I don’t know why the plate couldn’t have said something like “Support the Elderly”, “Meals for Seniors”, or some other phrase that had something to do with the purpose of the plate.

Another interesting thing is that the records of this law have been removed from the link you get when googling for “Arkansas In God We Trust License Plate”.

Here’s the broken link.

But thanks to Google’s cache, we can see the thing that’s been removed:

Subchapter 49. In God We Trust License Plate.

§ 27-15-4904. In God We Trust License Plate Fund.

(a) There is created on the books of the Treasurer of State, the Auditor of State, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State a special revenue fund to be known as the “In God We Trust License Plate Fund”.

(b)(1) All moneys collected as design-use contribution fees under § 27-15-4903 shall be deposited into the State Treasury as special revenues to the credit of the In God We Trust License Plate Fund.

(2) The fund shall also consist of any other revenues as may be authorized by law.

(c)(1)(A) The fund shall be used by the Division of Aging and Adult Services of the Department of Health and Human Services to provide quarterly cash grants to each senior citizen center in a similar method as is used in the State of Arkansas’s current system for distributing United States Department of Agriculture money to the senior citizen centers to purchase raw food.

(B) All moneys in the fund shall be used exclusively by the division as provided in subdivisions (c)(2) and (3) of this section.

(C)(i) All moneys collected as design-use contribution fees under § 27-15-4903(a) shall be used exclusively by senior citizen centers for purchasing food for use in a home-delivered meal program.

(ii) No moneys collected as design-use contribution fees under § 27-15-4903(a) shall be used for administration expenses by a state agency, senior citizen center, or any other non-profit or for-profit organization.

(2)(A) The division shall distribute the moneys collected under this subchapter as cash grant awards to senior citizen centers in the State of Arkansas.

(B) The cash grant awards shall be based on the average number of meals served each day for the prior quarter within the senior citizen center’s respective geographic area.

(3) Each senior citizen center that receives a cash grant award under this subchapter shall use the moneys exclusively for purchasing food for use in a home-delivered meal program.

Now, I’m not saying that this was removed on purpose, but I did find it odd.

In any case, I wonder why I haven’t heard anything about this.