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Ind. Catholic Diocese Resists Court Jurisdiction

The Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese in Indiana has refused to appear in court to answer a lawsuit from a former employee, arguing that it is beyond the reach of the legal system in this case.

“[If] the diocese is required to go through a trial,” the diocese’s religious freedom would be “irrevocably” harmed, church attorneys argued. Read more

The Other Marriage Debate: Who Gets To Perform The Ceremonies?

As the debate over same-sex marriage moves through the courts, a quieter legal challenge is also under way: Who should have the legal right to perform marriage ceremonies?

In some states, it can be difficult to legally get a wholly secular official to perform your marriage ceremony. Judges are often available, but they may be able to officiate at marriages only during limited hours. For people who want to celebrate with their family and friends on a weekend, a judge may not be an option. Read more

Hoosier Heartache: Vouchers Threaten Public Education In Indiana

I spent the weekend in Indianapolis, where I took part in “Civic Day,” an annual event co-sponsored by Americans United’s Indiana Chapter and the Center for Inquiry-Indiana.

One of the topics discussed was vouchers. I gave an overview of the sectarian and secular groups that promote taxpayer aid for religious education and discussed what motivates them. Read more

‘Choice’ Charade: Religious School Leaders Want Your Money But Not Your Oversight

Supporters of private school “choice” – by which they mean their right to choose to pass the bill for private religious education to the taxpayer – believe they are on a roll. To some extent, they’re right.

In March, Indiana’s Supreme Court ruled that the state’s voucher plan doesn’t violate a provision in the Indiana Constitution that bars tax aid to religion. In the wake of that ruling, legislators promptly approved an expansion of the program. Read more

Midwestern Swing: Church-State Activism Is Alive And Well In America’s Heartland

I just got back from a trip to Indiana and Illinois where I was once again reminded of the importance of local activism.

In Indianapolis, I spoke at an event jointly sponsored by the Indiana Chapter of Americans United and the Center for Inquiry-Indiana. Called “Civic Day,” the annual event at the state capitol building is designed to inform residents of challenges facing their state and spur them to action. Read more

Paying For Prejudice: Georgia Tax-Credit Program Subsidizes Anti-Gay Bias

Vouchers and tuition tax credits, we’re told by those who favor them, will promote “school choice.”

This is true, in a sense. But here’s the harsh reality: It’s the private school that gets the choice, not the parents. Read more

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