Posts Tagged Religion Clause

Ireland to Reconsider Blasphemy Ban in Constitution

For my friends on the left who are convinced that the United States is some sort of draconian theocracy, consider the fact that the progressive, liberal nation of Ireland still has a blasphemy clause in its constitution.

Fortunately, it looks like Ireland is considering catching up with the innovations that the US implemented in the 18th Century. From Religion Clause:

Ireland’s Justice Minister announced Sunday that the country will hold a referendum this fall on removing a blasphemy ban from the Constitution. Yesterday’s London Guardian reports that the advocacy group Atheist Ireland particularly welcomed the announcement. When Ireland’s new more lenient blasphemy law took effect in January, the group responded by publishing on its website 25 blasphemous statements from famous figures in history. (See prior posting.) Currently Ireland’s Constitution (Sec. 40) requires that the country have a blasphemy law.

It’s always nice to think that other nations are catching on to the niceties of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.


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Scientology and Abuse

Religious Clause reports on an article in the New York Times addressing abuse at the hands of the Church of Scientology.

They signed a contract for a billion years — in keeping with the church’s belief that Scientologists are immortal. They worked seven days a week, often on little sleep, for sporadic paychecks of $50 a week, at most.

But after 13 years and growing disillusionment, the Collbrans decided to leave the Sea Org, setting off on a Kafkaesque journey that they said required them to sign false confessions about their personal lives and their work, pay the church thousands of dollars it said they owed for courses and counseling, and accept the consequences as their parents, siblings and friends who are church members cut off all communication with them. Read the rest of this entry »


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Shop Teacher Suspended for Banning Wiccan Altar

A shop teacher in Iowa has been suspended for banning a Wiccan student from building an altar in class. Religion Clause comments on the story:

Yesterday’s Des Moines Register reports that teacher Dale Halferty told a student that he could not build a Wiccan altar in shop class. While he could build a table that he could later use as part of an altar, Halferty told the student that he needed to keep all religious materials at home. However the student kept returning with a book on witchcraft. Halferty says he does not want any religious symbols in the shop, and previously told another student he could not build a cross in class. Almost 70 students have signed a petition saying they do not want witchcraft practiced in school. Halferty agreed, saying: “It scares me. I’m a Christian. This witchcraft stuff – it’s terrible for our kids. It takes kids away from what they know, and leads them to a dark and violent life.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Oregon Legislature to Repeal Ban on Religious Dress by Teachers

The Oregon Senate has voted to repeal a ban on religious dress by teachers in public schools, specifically referring to head coverings. Read the rest of this entry »

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UK Affirms Hindu Man’s Right to Funeral Pyre

Here’s a really interesting case from Great Britain, compliments of Religion Clause. The British Court of Appeals has affirmed the right of a practicing Hindu to be cremated in a funeral pyre.

I’d love to be cremated on a funeral pyre.

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