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Fundamentalist Freak-Out: It’s (Not) The End Of The World As We Know It, And The Religious Right Doesn’t Feel Fine

Mat Staver, a Religious Right attorney and dean of Liberty University’s law school, isn’t very happy with the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the same-sex marriage cases.

As I’m sure you’ll recall, the high court’s Oct. 6 decision not to wade into this matter had the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in a bunch of states, several of them in the Bible Belt. (Here are some shots of same-sex couples getting married in Oklahoma – Oklahoma! Pretty darned amazing.) Read more

Blasphemous Suggestion: Catholic Writer Calls On Oklahoma To Enforce Archaic Statute

The prospect of a satanic “black mass” in Oklahoma City’s CitySpace Theater has moved one Catholic commentator to call for the state to enforce its archaic blasphemy laws. In an editorial for the National Catholic Reporter, Phyllis Zagano cites the mass’ tradition of stomping on the sacred host as justification for her argument. Read more

Sunday Shopping: Mandatory Store-Closing Laws Made Some People Blue

I just got back from a visit to Southern California, where I spoke in three cities about my book Taking Liberties Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do.

I always take questions at these events. At the event in Irvine, a member of the audience asked me about blue laws. I thought it was an interesting question because it’s an issue that doesn’t come up that much these days. Read more

Class Warfare?: Controversial Bible Elective Now Delayed In Oklahoma

Citing “unforeseen delays,” the Green Scholars Initiative has announced that a potentially unconstitutional Bible class will not be introduced in Mustang, Okla., public schools as planned this fall, and will instead delay the class until next January. The Green Scholars Initiative designed the class and is directly funded by the Green family, the owners of Hobby Lobby.
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A Biblical Catastrophe: New Details Stoke Concerns Over Okla. Public School Bible Class

Emerging details about Hobby Lobby owner Steve Green’s controversial Bible class appear to confirm concerns about its sectarian intentions. The class, which is currently being challenged by Americans United, the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, is set to enter public schools in Mustang, Okla., next year.
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Short-Sighted Sentence: Okla. Judge’s Church-Attendance Mandate Is Wrong

On Dec. 4, 2011, Tyler Alred, an Oklahoma teenager who had been drinking, ran a truck into a tree. His passenger and friend, 16-year-old John Dum, was killed.

That’s tragic. I doubt anyone would argue that Alred doesn’t deserve to be punished. But an Oklahoma judge’s response to the matter has been curious, to say the least: District Judge Mike Norman has sentenced Alred to attend church weekly for the next 10 years. Read more

Invocation Intemperance: State-Sponsored Prayer Rankles In Hawaii And Oklahoma

Official, state-sponsored prayers before government bodies are often problematic, but many legislators simply refuse to give them up.

The state of Hawaii has just learned the hard way that it’s best not to overreact when citizens protest government-endorsed religion. Read more

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