Comedy Central's long-running news satire program "The Daily Show" broadcast a segment Tuesday night poking fun at an atheist group's legal action against a North Carolina diner that offered a discount for praying in public.
A segment featuring "Daily Show" correspondent Jordan Klepper spotlighted the action the Freedom From Religion Foundation took against Mary's Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem when it argued that a 15 percent discount was discriminatory toward non-theists and threatened to file a lawsuit against the diner.
WASHINGTON — Will those liberals who value diversity and tolerance of differing viewpoints lose their fight with the liberals who have worked to drive those who do not share their opinions from the public square? Professor Robert P. George believes they will. Tolerant liberals, however, have two advantages in that fight.
On Oct. 16, George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, delivered the Institute on Religion and Democracy's 2014 Diane Knippers Memorial Lecture in Washington, D.C. In that speech (coverage and links to the video here), he argued that supporters of gay marriage will not allow for the religious freedom of those opposed to gay marriage because their ideology does not allow for the fact that gay marriage dissenters can be reasonable people of goodwill. There are some tolerant liberals that continue to support religious freedom, he said, but those liberals "will lose the battle."
During the Q&A after the speech, I suggested to George two reasons he could be wrong, that tolerant liberals could win that fight with intolerant liberals. more >>
A city in Florida has recently garnered much attention when a few of its leadership walked out in protest of an atheist invocation given at a government meeting.
Members of the Lake Worth City Commissioners stepped out of their meeting last week when Miami atheist Preston Smith took to the stand to give an invocation.
Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo and three other commissioners exited the space, as seen by a video posted on YouTube last Wednesday by Wes Blackman. more >>
Three Christian clergymen, each facing six years in prison in Iran for their faith, attended a second appeal hearing on Tuesday. Reports noted that yet another Christian, a house church leader in Shiraz, was recently arrested.
"The charges faced by Pastors Behnam Irani, Matthias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabbani are clearly unjust, as Mr Farahani has argued in court. We continue to call on the authorities to release these clergymen along with Ebrahim Hosseinzadeh, unconditionally and without delay," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas in a news release.
"Their only 'crime' is to exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief, as guaranteed in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is signatory. We urge the Iranian government to uphold this right for religious minorities in Iran, in line with its obligations under international law and the provisions upholding the rights of religious minorities in its own constitution." more >>
Republican Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, Jase Bolger says he has been getting "vile and vulgar" shots from the "Left" since a bill aimed at protecting the rights of people with sincerely held religious beliefs was passed by the state House after a partisan vote last Thursday while another bill meant to expand civil rights protections for the LGBT community in the state was killed a day earlier after it could not get enough votes to pass.
"I was warned by backers of personal freedom that if I supported both gay rights and religious freedom I would be in the middle and take hateful shots from both sides. But, my experience has shown that the shots from the "Left" over my support for Religious Freedom has been exponentially more vile, vulgar and violent than have the comments from the "Right" over my support of Gay Rights," wrote Bolger in a post to his Facebook page Sunday.
On Thursday Bolger explained in a Detroit Free Press report that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not designed to allow religious people to discriminate or carry out any other agenda except protect their right to practice their religion and express their sincerely held beliefs. more >>
A lawsuit is moving forward against a Washington State florist who refused to supply floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding ceremony based on her religious objection, which could put her at risk of serious financial loss and the loss of her business.
Baronelle Stutzman, who owns and operates Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, is being sued by the Washington State attorney general's office for refusing to supply flowers for a same-sex couple's wedding ceremony. Instead, she referred the couple to another nearby florist who could supply flowers for their wedding.
The attorney general's office filed its lawsuit against Stutzman in 2013, and after the judge who was presiding over the case joined the federal bench, another judge has been appointed to the case and began hearing arguments on the case last week. Judge Alex Ekstrom is expected to set the start of the trial for sometime in the Spring. more >>