Category Archives for religious freedom

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. […]

Also posted in 2015 Texas Legislature, LGBT issues, TFN | 3 Comments

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 […]

Also posted in 2015 Texas Legislature, TFN | 7 Comments

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 […]

Also posted in TFNEF | 1 Comment

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 […]

Also posted in Liberty Institute, TFNEF | 2 Comments

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 […]

Also posted in TFNEF | 2 Comments

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, […]

Also posted in TFNEF | 4 Comments

Crying Wolf: Turns Out Texas Politicians, RR Groups Were Wrong about Religious Discrimination Claim

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge UPDATE, 10 a.m., May 7: Even more about how this incident didn’t involve religious discrimination. The governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and a long list of religious-right groups and activists owe UIL officials an apology. *** One of the fastest ways to whip up a political […]

Also posted in TFN | 9 Comments

Proposed Texas Constitutional Amendment Could Help Fred ‘God Hates Fags’ Phelps Disrupt Funerals

Why would religious-right groups like Texas Values, the Texas lobby arm of Plano-based Liberty Institute, want to help hate groups disrupt funerals for military servicemembers and the victims of tragedies like last week’s fertilizer plant explosion in West? Those groups are demanding that state lawmakers pass a constitutional amendment — HJR 110/SJR 4 — that […]

Also posted in 2013 Texas Legislature, LGBT issues, TFN, Westboro Baptist Church | 2 Comments

Texas House Committee to Consider Bill Protecting Discrimination in Colleges and Universities

On Wednesday the Texas House Higher Education Committee will consider legislation that could force Texas colleges and universities to allow student organizations to discriminate. House Bill 360 by state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, would withhold state funding from a public or private institution of higher education that requires religious and other student organizations to […]

Also posted in 2013 Texas Legislature, LGBT issues, Matt Krause, TFN | 3 Comments