Tag Archives: Church State Separation

Bishop who Looks Like PZ Myers Compares Barack Obama to Hitler

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Biologist and Blogger PZ MYers, is smiling now, but not for long.

Which is funny, because he might have just Godwined his own tax return.

Americans United is calling for an IRS investigation of the Peoria Catholic Diocese after Biship Jenky gave a homily in mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in which he said:

Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care. In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

Pharyngula's PZ Myers, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peioria, is smiling because he just finished doing his taxes and did not violate any IRS laws.
PZ Myers, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peioria, is smiling because he just finished doing his taxes and did not violate any IRS laws.

Well, it’s nice to know a) Hitler and Stalin had better moments (I did not know that) and b) American United attends churches looking out for this sort of violation.

The AU complaint states:

“Bishop Jenky compared Obama to Hitler and Stalin and accused him of pursuing policies that will close Catholic institutions. Moments later, he exhorted members of his flock not to vote for candidates who fail to uphold Catholic values. It is impossible to interpret this as anything but a command to vote against Obama.”

The full press release from American United is here.

Carroll County Maryland Employees to Take Bible Class?

Yeah, more or less:

Carroll County commissioners have asked county employees to attend a seminar on the Maryland Constitution led by a conservative Christian minister, sparking accusations that local officials are overstepping the boundary between church and state.

The minister in question is David Whitney, who is one of those guys who thinks he can reconcile American Law with the Bible, by making American Law like the Bible.

“We will be looking at the language of our founding fathers who wrote they were ‘grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberties’ front and center on this document. The Bible is the source of the authority that they looked to.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United are annoyed with the $800 of government money funding the operation. Rob Boston, of Americans United asks, “Do these commissioners realize what a mess they have stepped into? This is a toxic stew, and employees should not be forced to dine there.”

Indeed.

Dismantling Church-State boundary in Oklahoma is not OK

The constitution of Oklahoma, like many states, has a part about church-state separation. In Oklahoma, Republicans are tying to remove that provision. Representative Jason Nelson has put forth a ballot initiative that would allow voters to vote out Article 2 Section 5 of the constitution.

No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.

would become

No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.

There is a summary at Americans United

Medina Valley Suit Settled

Americans United for Separation of Church and State just announced the settlement of a suit over school sponsored religious activities inthe Medina Valley Independent School District, Castroville, Texas.

District officials, administrators, teachers, staff and other employees are no longer allowed to initiate or solicit prayers or join in with students during such activities, or to encourage others to engage in such religious activities.

“This settlement brings an end to several practices we believed were unconstitutional and that violated students’ rights,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “I’m glad we were able to resolve this matter out of court.”

Also under the settlement:

* School district personnel will not display crosses, religious images, religious quotations, Bibles or religious texts, or other religious icons or artifacts on the walls, hallways, and other areas at the school.

* The district will not invite speakers, including government officials or community leaders, whom it has reason to believe will proselytize or promote religion during their remarks.

* The Medina Valley High School student handbook will contain a section on students’ rights to religious freedom, including the importance of respect for and tolerance of students from all backgrounds and the specific procedures for registering a complaint with district personnel about violations.

* The district will provide annual training to all district personnel who interact with students or parents or who supervise those who interact with students or parents. The training will cover a variety of topics related to students’ rights and church-state separation.

AU Senior Litigation Counsel Gregory M. Lipper, who served as lead plaintiffs’ counsel, praised the Schultz family for coming forward and challenging the school district’s promotion of religion.

“The Schultz family displayed great courage in standing up for religious liberty and church-state separation in the face of intense community opposition,” Lipper said. “The significant changes in the Medina Valley School District could not and would not have happened without their courageous efforts.”

From the AU

Arrests in anti-church-state separation protest.

There were several arrests in New York City, including one councilmember and several pastors, in connection with protest against the eviction of religious groups from public school buildings.

Seven demonstrators, including Councilman Fernando Cabrera, were charged with trespass Thursday. Police say they refused to move from the entrance to the city’s Law Department in Manhattan.

The city has told about 60 churches they must stop holding worship services in public schools after Feb. 12. It argues separation of church and state and cites a court decision.

The New York Housing Authority, which is a federally funded agency administered by the city, is also renewing it’s church-in-the-public-buildings policy.

source

Flying Spaghetti Monster Strikes Again!

This time, at the lawn in front of the Leesburg County Court House in Virginia:

Beside a Christmas tree and creche sits a large banner with a nativity scene in which baby Jesus has been replaced by a plate of spaghetti with googly eyes. A crowd that includes pirates and gnomes surrounds Jesus. At the bottom its message reads “Touched by an Angelhair.” The scene is the work of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monsters.

Near the courthouse fence is another display whose sign reads ”Greetings From Your Friendly Local Atheists.” It’s message is about celebrating the Constitution and honoring the separation of church and state.

Elsewhere on the lawn, a skeleton in a Santa suit hangs on a cross.

abc

They killed Santa? Continue reading Flying Spaghetti Monster Strikes Again!

“Silent Night” Sung

I had earlier mentioned that Americans United sof Separation of Chruch and State had expressed concern over the singing of the song “Silent Night” in a school Christmas program; Well, the event carried out and the song was sung, and AU has no immediate plans.

Alex Luchenitser, associate legal director for Separation of Church and State, said Monday afternoon the group planned no action against the play, at least not this year.

“Nobody’s planning it at this time,” Luchenitser said. “We had a short time frame to address this, so we only had time to send a letter that we hoped would educate school officials about separation of church and state. We hope in the future they don’t do this again.”

Luchenitser said his group received a local complaint about the song. He said they have a policy against disclosing details about the complaint or revealing the identity of the complainant. Continue reading “Silent Night” Sung

President Newt Gingrich Would Arrest Pro Church-State Separation Judges

This is why I don’t want to hear you belly-aching about Obama and telling us all about how you can’t vote for him because he didn’t do some thing you for some quite possibly invalid reason you thought he would do despite having only two years without a Republican congress and almost no time without a Fillibuster.

Any single one of these stooges running for the republicans, including and maybe especially, New Gingrich, could be the next president of the United States if a) enough liberal stay home and b) enough liberals and progressives vote for a third party or do some other stupid thing, ensuring that Obama is not re-elected.

Gingrich has stated that he would use the Federal Marshall Service to arrest judges who make decisions that he does not agree with. Consider the following interview:

SCHIEFFER: One of the things you say is that if you don’t like what a court has done, that Congress should subpoena the judge and bring him before Congress and hold a Congressional hearing… how would you enforce that? Would you send the Capitol Police down to arrest him?

GINGRICH: Sure. If you had to. Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send a U.S. Marshal.

From Think Progress.

So, get all passive aggressive at Obama, maybe you get Gingrich.