A Christian lawmaker decided to redo the opening invocation at the Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday, a day after Democratic Rep. Juan Mendez of Tempe led a secular "prayer."
"When there's a time set aside to pray and to pledge, if you are a nonbeliever, don't ask for time to pray," said Republican Rep. Steve Smith, of Maricopa, according to AzCapitol Times. "If you don't love this nation and want to pledge to it, don't say I want to lead this body in the pledge, and stand up there and say, 'you know what, instead of pledging, I love England' and [sit] down."
"That's not a pledge, and that wasn't a prayer, it's that simple," Smith added. more >>
On Wednesday, the Arizona House passed a measure which would offer further protection for the religious liberties of state citizens.
Senate Bill 1178, which passed the Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday with a 32-24 vote along party lines and reportedly with little debate, seeks to strengthen the language of the already existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The bill seeks to strengthen religious freedom in the state in several ways, predominately by giving all denominations the ability to file a lawsuit over an "impending" religious liberty violation, as opposed to a violation which has already taken place. more >>
Jodi Arias is tweeting again, thanks to the help of a friend who posts messages on her behalf. In one of her latest tweets, Arias spoke about God's love and quoted a prominent Mormon leader.
"God's love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked. – Dieter F. Uchtdorf," Arias posted on Wednesday, as the sentencing phase of her trial began.
Uchtdorf is the second counselor of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was installed on Feb. 3, 2008 but has been a member of the Church since 1962. In addition to being a second counselor, Uchtdorf has given several speeches and addresses as well as written numerous articles, oen of which Arias drew the quote from. more >>
The University of Arizona is defending its decision to allow a student preacher to protest a sexual assault awareness event last week on campus with signs reading "You Deserve Rape."
"I think that girls that dress and act like it," said Dean Saxton, a junior studying classics and religious studies at UA, "they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they're pretty much asking for it." He added that the signs preach the message that "if you dress like a whore, act like a whore, you're probably going to get raped."
The Daily Wildcat reported that Saxton drew a lot of attention last week when he and supporters held the controversial signs on the same day that a sexual assault awareness event was going on. A number of students who were offended reported him to the Dean of Students Office, but no action was taken. more >>
An Arizona judge ruled Friday that a transgender man who birthed three children could not divorce his wife because there was insufficient evidence indicating that he was male when he and his wife wed, and therefore the nine-year union is invalid because Arizona does not recognize same-sex marriage.
Thomas Beatie sparked a media firestorm nearly five years ago when he became known as the "pregnant man" after he gave birth to a girl, the first child of three with his wife, Nancy Beatie.
Beatie was born a female but underwent transgender surgery to become a man, taking testosterone hormone supplements beginning in 1997 and undergoing a double-mastectomy in 2012, as well as undergoing psychological treatment for his change. more >>
The Arizona Legislature is considering two bills that would expand tax exemptions for churches and religious organizations. The measures, being backed by a Christian group, have passed the state House, and are now under consideration by the state Senate.
House Bill 2645 exempts preschools and day care centers operated by churches and other religious nonprofits from having to pay state unemployment insurance taxes, and HB 2446 expands the ability for churches and religious groups to invoke nonprofit and tax-exempt status on properties, according to Phoenix Business Journal.
Churches and entities controlled entirely by churches that are operated for primarily religious purposes were exempt from state unemployment tax under Arizona law. But the Department of Economic Security changed the interpretation of the law in 2012 and began seeking to tax church-run preschools and schools, says the Center for Arizona Policy on its website. more >>