Sunday, November 1, 2015

Religious Freedom Report 11.01.15

Religious Freedom is getting hit hard this week. From a praying coach in Washington state to gay rights activists seeking to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include LGBT. That would mean gays would be classified as a race as they wish to force themselves into the same movement as blacks at the time.  Why earn the right yourself when you can just steal the nobility of another groups battle with history? The reason is clear, though: The LGBT community knows they are not a race and there's nothing scientific anywhere to even suggest it.

The Bremerton School District in Washington State put assistant varsity football coach Joe Kennedy on paid administrative leave this week after he failed to comply with directives to stop overt public displays of religion on the field while on duty.
 The showdown raises a key question: When does a public school district’s responsibility to follow the First Amendment’s establishment clause – barring the government from endorsing or showing preference for religions – trump a staff member’s rights under the free exercise clause, meant to prohibit government interference with religious practice.
For years, Coach Kennedy had led prayers before games in the locker room and after games at the 50-yard line, but only recently did it come to the attention of a district administrator, a statement from the school district notes. When officials asked him to stop overtly involving students, he complied, but he continued to pray himself after the game, on the field.
Kennedy had recently requested a religious accommodation, which employers are required to offer, when reasonable, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
“I am devastated that the school district is denying me an opportunity to privately and silently pray for my players at the 50,” Kennedy said in a statement released by the Liberty Institute, a legal organization in Plano, Texas, that advocates for religious freedom. It plans to support legal actions on behalf of Kennedy.
The school district says it has repeatedly offered Kennedy the option of using a private location for prayer at athletic facilities or the stadium.
The Liberty Institute, in a statement, says the school’s actions amount to an “unconstitutional ban on visible religious expression.”

On Tuesday, citizens of Houston, Texas, will go to the polls to vote on a controversial “sexual orientation and gender identity” (dubbed SOGI) measure.
Rather than protecting equality before the law, the SOGI ordinance, euphemistically named the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), creates special legal protections based on “sexual orientation and gender identity.”
HERO, like all sexual orientation and gender identity laws, is bad public policy.
HERO does not clearly define what actions count as “discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Indeed, HERO leaves entirely unclear what actions could be accused of being discriminatory.
 As a result, HERO would impose new, and potentially ruinous liability on innocent citizens for alleged “discrimination” based not on objective traits, but on subjective and unverifiable identities. HERO would further increase government interference in markets, potentially discouraging economic growth and job creation.

 Bible-Citing Marine Raises Religious Freedom Questions in Appeal
  A North Carolina-based Marine will now get to challenge a court-martial conviction that raises tricky questions about military discipline and religious freedom.
Reinforced by members of Congress and some leading conservative lawyers, former Lance Cpl. Monifa F. Sterling this week convinced the nation's highest military appeals court to hear a case that started with a biblical quote and led to a demotion and orders for a bad-conduct discharge.
Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces will weigh whether the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act should shield Sterling's defiance of a command that she remove the biblical quotes from her Camp Lejeune workplace.

 Huffington Post posted an article by Dale Hanson titled "Christians Still Fail to Understand Religious Freedom." It's the usual diatribe in which a left wing blogger says that when ever a Christian or conservative (from his examples), it's just because they don't understand it. Left wing blogger always set themselves on an intelligence pedestal and like to condescendingly suggest that the reason you don't get it is because you're not as smart as they are.. Ho hum.

Texas case pits religious freedom claim against whether home-school students must be educated
Laura McIntyre began educating her nine children more than a decade ago inside a vacant office at an El Paso motorcycle dealership she ran with her husband and other relatives.
Now the family is embroiled in a legal battle the Texas Supreme Court hears next week that could have broad implications on the nation's booming home-school ranks. The McIntyres are accused of failing to teach their children educational basics because they were waiting to be transported to heaven with the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Which could be written off as something one family did, but, instead  some bright light might want to use it as something to set a precedent which would go against home schooling freedom.

At issue: Where do religious liberty and parental rights to educate one's own children stop and obligations to ensure home-schooled students ever actually learn something begin?
"Parents should be allowed to decide how to educate their children, not whether to educate their children," said Rachel Coleman, executive director of the Massachusetts-based Coalition for Responsible Home Education.
Like other Texas home-school families, Laura and her husband Michael McIntyre weren't required to register with state or local educational officials. They also didn't have to teach state-approved curriculums or give standardized tests.

After the US Supreme Court legalised gay marriage in June, a new bill in Congress now seeks to provide more rights to members of the LGBT community.
The proposed Equality Act aims to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 "to include sex, sexual orientation and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation," WND reported.
The proposed law would change public school desegregation standards "to provide for the assignment of students without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity."
A Human Rights Campaign (HRC) event in Chicago recently discussed how they would work to pass the Equality Act.
HRC President Chad Griffing said it would be "the biggest legislative battle in the history of our movement," adding that the movement has 10 million voters "to decide elections."