Religious Pluralism and the Niggling Test

JONATHAN TURLEY

By Mike Appleton, Weekend Contributor

“The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.”

-Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 104 (1968)

“This commission chooses to stand by the tradition of opening its meetings in a manner acknowledging the beliefs of a large segment of its constituents.”

-Brevard County (Florida) Commission Chair Mary Bolin Lewis (August 15, 2014)

On August 19th the County Commission in Brevard County, Florida voted unanimously to reject a request by the Central Florida Freethought Community, an organization of atheists, agnostics, humanists and free-thinkers, to be added to a rotating list of groups invited to give the opening invocation at commission meetings. Instead, the commission approved a letter drafted by the county attorney offering the group three minutes to speak during the public comment portion of its meetings. According to the letter, the rejection was appropriate because, “The prayer is…

View original post 1,298 more words

Supply Side Kansas and ALEC

JONATHAN TURLEY

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

In these post Recession days, we have seen various stories of state and municipalities economies make positive strides toward recovery.  According to economist Paul Krugman, the state of Kansas is not one of those success stories.  If you don’t recall, the Republican Governor, Sam Brownback, signed legislation granting huge tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.

Brownback crowed that these tax cuts would lead Kansas into the promised land of economic nirvana.  Unfortunately for regular, non-wealthy Kansans, the recovery has not materialized.  As Krugman states, the economy in Kansas tanked.

“Sam Brownback, the governor, proposed the legislation — in percentage terms, the largest tax cut in one year any state has ever enacted — in close consultation with the economist Arthur Laffer. And Mr. Brownback predicted that the cuts would jump-start an economic boom — “Look out, Texas,” he proclaimed.

But Kansas

View original post 378 more words

Public high school principal prays at graduation

Why Evolution Is True

Here’s Kevin Lowery, Principal of Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Missouri, giving an address at his school’s graduation. This extended riff on the religious nature of the U.S. is an apparent protest of court decisions deeming it illegal for school officials to pray at school functions.

Lowery brandishes U.S. paper currency to flaunt its “In God We Trust Motto,” and then, at 2:00, offers a moment of silence (a common way around prayer restrictions). After breaking the silence, he tells the audience that during his moment of silence, he gave thanks to God.

This is clearly a violation of the First Amendment. Since I’m the Discovery Institute’s official Censor of the Year, I might as well tell you that I’ve contacted not only Prnicipal Lowery, but also members of the Lebanon School Board and the Superintendent of Schools (see my email below). Oh, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation as well.

Remember, this is truly…

View original post 496 more words