Category Archives for religious freedom

TFN, ACLU of Texas Launch Initiative Opposing Bills That Allow the Use of Religion to Discriminate

Today the Texas Freedom Network and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas are announcing a joint initiative — Texans Equal Under the Law — to oppose laws that allow people and organizations to use religion to discriminate. This announcement comes as the Texas House Committee on State Affairs considers yet another proposed bill that […]

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This Week @ the Texas Legislature: Discrimination in Adoption, Foster Care and Child Welfare

Click below for contact information of committee members. Wednesday, April 15 House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues On Wednesday, a state House committee will take up HB 3864, by state Rep. Scott Sanford, R-McKinney. Like the recent Indiana law that caused such backlash, this bill would authorize state-sanctioned discrimination purportedly to protect religious freedom. The […]

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Texas GOP Legislator Matt Krause Decides Discrimination Is More Important Than Jobs for Texans

On Monday state Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, said he would no longer support his HJR 55, a controversial state constitutional amendment that supporters claim protects religious freedom in Texas but in reality opens the door to using religion to discriminate and harm others. On Wednesday, state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, refiled the measure as HJR 125. […]

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Texas Lawmaker Reverses Course on Misguided ‘Religious Freedom’ Amendment

We have very good news to share regarding at least one of the proposed constitutional amendments in Texas this year that would allow government officials and individuals to use religion to discriminate. Late Monday afternoon, state Rep. Jason Villalba sent out a press release saying that he intends to “reconsider entirely” his proposed HJR 55. […]

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Proposed Texas Constitutional Amendments: Misusing Religion to Harm Others

Beware of politicians who propose legislation to protect religious freedom. It’s very important to read the fine print. Freedom of religion is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans. That’s why it is protected in the Texas and federal constitutions and why in 1999 a bipartisan majority in the Texas Legislature passed and a Republican […]

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Marking Religious Freedom Day: A Lesson for the Religious Right

Today is Religious Freedom Day, marking the anniversary of the passage of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. Authored by Thomas Jefferson, the statute served as a model for other states. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution also includes the principle of religious freedom protected by the Virginia statute. The statute reads, in part: “Be it enacted by […]

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Phony Outrage over Alleged Religious Persecution

Here’s another item for the “we’re not surprised”  category: a Texas religious-right group is deceitfully portraying a U.S. Army chaplain as a victim of religious persecution. Liberty Institute, a litigation group based in Plano north of Dallas, is representing Capt. Joseph Lawhorn, an Army chaplain who ran into trouble for essentially evangelizing at a mandatory training on suicide prevention […]

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This Is How Bigotry Works

So here’s a story about how bigotry works — and how religious-right groups feed off it. Schools across America typically close for important Christian holidays like Christmas. Some also close for major Jewish holy days like Yom Kippur. Muslims in Maryland’s Montgomery County asked officials to consider closing local schools in recognition of major Islamic days of observance like Eid al-Adha as well. […]

Also posted in church and state, TFNEF, war on Christmas nonsense | 3 Comments

What Is the Real Threat to Religious Freedom in America?

Right-wing politicians and pressure groups cynically claim that religious freedom is under attack in America. But in a column published today in the Austin American-Statesman, Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller writes that the real threat to religious liberty comes from those seeking to redefine what that freedom actually means. Kathy’s full column is below. Recent court decisions extending marriage equality to […]

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Florida County Commissioners Discover That Religious Freedom Means Freedom for Everyone, Even Pagans

Religious-right activists celebrated when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year, in a 5-4 decision, that beginning governmental meetings with sectarian prayers doesn’t violate the Constitution’s Establishment Clause. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins declared: “The court has rejected the idea that as citizens we must check our faith at the entrance to the public square.” Of course, […]

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