If Freedomland Has Religious Accommodation, it Can't Be Free

And that goes for any Country that is trying to claim it is free............


A sign on a lamp post at the bottom of the Winooski Circle displayed the words "Yield For Sneakers Bacon" until Friday morning. The bistro owners took it down.

It got there as part of "Operation Bloom."

A city program put it in place to keep its flower beds beautiful. If businesses do some gardening they can post an advertisement where they do it, but the word "bacon" on the Sneakers Bistro sign started a discussion about diversity on the Winooski Front Porch Forum.

It started with a post from one woman who wrote that the sign was insensitive to those who do not consume pork. She said as a Muslim she is personally offended by it.


: http://www.wptz.com/news/vermont-new-york/burlington/advertisement-removed-after-resident-expresses-offense/27693396#ixzz3BIlPUXuo (external - login to view)

Last edited by tay; Aug 25th, 2014 at 06:40 AM..
#2  Top Rated Post
Quit teasing the special needs kids, tay.
No Party Affiliation
Good thing this is in the US? WE would be offended by someone that doesn't eat bacon. Terribly un Canadian.
Grow the **** up and stop beeing offended at stupid s-h-i-t. What if I became offended at woman walking around all day completely covered in wraps?

And mmmm ... bacon.
Florida Mayor Kicks Atheist Out of City Commission Meeting After He Doesn’t Stand for the Invocation or Pledge

At yesterday’s meeting of the Winter Garden City Commissioners (external - login to view) (in Florida), Mayor John Rees announced that they would begin with an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance, as many government meetings do, and asked everyone to stand up.

John Thoreau, an atheist, remained seated. Normally, that would be irrelevant since he has every right to do that, but Rees had other ideas.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote a letter to the city (external - login to view) today spelling out the constitutional violations (external - login to view) of which the Mayor is guilty and telling them how they must remedy the situation:
(1) The government may not force citizens to stand for the Pledge of allegiance.
(2) Government officials may not ask citizens to stand for prayers or, (3) say prayers themselves.

To remedy the Pledge violation, at the next meeting, Mayor Rees ought to explain that citizens are within their rights to remain sitting for the Pledge and that it does not reflect a lack of patriotism… [Police] Chief [George] Brennan should make a similar statement. Patriotism and religiosity are not one and the same


Florida Mayor Kicks Atheist Out of City Commission Meeting After He Doesn’t Stand for the Invocation or Pledge (external - login to view)
What part of the 'price of sin.' went whoosh? (other than that part is a givin)
Conservative Christians Grapple With Whether 'Religious Freedom' Includes Muslims

Religious liberty is a rallying cry for many evangelical voters, and it has been popping up repeatedly throughout this presidential campaign. But in the current political climate, some conservative Christians are struggling with how to apply religious freedom to other faiths — like Islam.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz made religious freedom a hallmark of his failed campaign for the Republican nomination.

Now, presumptive nominee Donald Trump is picking up the theme.

"Religious freedom. The right of people of faith to freely practice their faith. So important," Trump said in a June 10 speech in Washington, D.C., to members of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

On June 21, in a room full of evangelical leaders in New York City, Trump again promised to protect religious freedom. The presumptive GOP nominee said if he's elected, "people are going to say 'Merry Christmas' again."

For decades, fights over religious liberty in the U.S. have mostly been about the religious liberties of Christians. Evangelicals have rallied around issues like prayer in public schools, and more recently, whether conservative Christian vendors should be required by law to provide services for same-sex weddings.

But now, as the nation's small but growing Muslim population gains a higher profile, other questions are emerging, including debates in several communities over the right to build mosques.

Pastor John Wofford of Armorel Baptist Church in northeast Arkansas raised that question at a national meeting of Southern Baptists this month.

"I would like to know how in the world someone within the Southern Baptist Convention can support the defending of rights for Muslims to construct mosques in the United States when these people threaten our very way of existence as Christians and Americans?" Wofford said. "They are murdering Christians, beheading Christians, imprisoning Christians all over the world."

In response, Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore warned that letting the government restrict Muslims could lead to restrictions on Christians. He believes Christianity is the only true faith, and people must choose it freely.

"Sometimes we have really hard decisions to make — this isn't one of those things," Moore said. "What it means to be a Baptist is to support soul freedom for everybody."

Moore leads the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which recently signed on to a legal brief supporting the right of a group of Muslims in New Jersey to build a mosque. His answer was met with enthusiastic applause — but he has also faced criticism from some fellow conservatives, including Wofford.

"It's a double-edged sword," said Matt Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Council, which focuses on religious freedom litigation on behalf of Christians but has also represented at least one Jewish client.

"Religious freedom is for all of us or it's for none of us," Staver said. "If we want to pick and choose, what's the standard? And if it's only that might makes right, then that means it's a political struggle and whoever is the ruling class at any particular time, they're the ones that have their say."

After the meeting with Trump in New York last week, several evangelical leaders held a press conference, where they praised Trump's promise to protect religious liberty.

Asked how that pledge applies to Muslims, conservative columnist Ken Blackwell responded that he favors freedom for all faiths, but his primary concern is the rights of Christians.

"I was more interested in hearing Donald Trump say that he was willing and ready to defend religious liberty not just for Christians, but including for Christians, in the public square," he said.

Pressed on Trump's call to temporarily ban Muslim immigration — a proposal that has appeared to shift over time, but which Trump has yet to explain in detail — Blackwell said that issue will be part of an ongoing "conversation" between Trump and evangelical leaders. He said many conservative Christians see the real estate developer as more favorable to their concerns about religious freedom and other issues than his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

"We're not going to, in fact, throw him overboard" over the Muslim ban issue, Blackwell said.


Conservative Christians Grapple With Whether 'Religious Freedom' Includes Muslims : NPR (external - login to view)
Texas AG sued to keep a Bible quote in school. Now he’s troubled by Muslim prayers

Every day at lunch, a handful of teenagers in Frisco, Tex., would pop into room C112, face a whiteboard and kneel for one of their five daily prayers.

It was just a spare classroom, used for everything from teachers’ grading to Buddhist meditation, school officials say. But Muslims at Liberty High seemed to like it.

“Takes like five minutes, instead of having to leave school, get in a car and go to my parents,” junior Sarah Qureshi told the school news site early this month.

“This is the seventh year we’ve been doing this, and we’ve never had one issue,” school principal Scott Warstler said.

Last week, however, top state officials learned about the room — and suddenly Liberty High had a big issue indeed.

The Texas attorney general’s office — famous for once suing a middle school principal to keep a Bible quote on a door — sent the Frisco school district superintendent a letter Friday raising “concerns.”

“It appears that the prayer room is ‘dedicated to the religious needs of some students,’” a deputy attorney general wrote in the letter quoting an article written by an 11th grade student, “namely, those who practice Islam.”

In a news release the same day, the attorney general’s office went further: “Recent news reports have indicated that the high school’s prayer room is … apparently excluding students of other faiths,” the release said.

That would be a constitutional violation, the Texas AG’s office noted.

And totally untrue, according to Frisco Independent School District officials, who say state officials didn’t even ask them about the prayers before the letter ended up in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s tweet.

“This ‘press release’ appears to be a publicity stunt by the OAG to politicize a nonissue,” schools superintendent Jeremy Lyon wrote in reply to the state. “Frisco ISD is greatly concerned that this type of inflammatory rhetoric in the current climate may place the District, its students, staff, parents and community in danger of unnecessary disruption.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has often criticized what he calls anti-Christian discrimination in Texas schools. In 2015, Paxton joined 15 other states (external - login to view)in opposing an atheist society’s lawsuit to stop school board officials from reading religious prayers before public meetings.

Paxton attracted national attention last December when he waded into a dispute in Killeen, Tex., between a middle school principal and a nurse’s aide who put up a six-foot poster in the school with a quote from the classic animation special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” that read: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.”

After the principal told the aide to take the poster down, Paxton wrote to the Killeen school district: “These concerns are not surprising in an age of frivolous litigation by anti-Christian interest groups … Rescind this unlawful policy.”

When the school district refused, Paxton helped the nurse’s aid sue, and won.
Three months later, his eye fell on Frisco.

We “recently became aware of Liberty High School’s prayer room,” Deputy Attorney General Andrew Leonie wrote to the schools superintendent — about two weeks after the room was profiled in the student newspaper. “Our initial inquiry left several questions unresolved.”

It sounded like the state had been investigating the matter, but school officials said they were blindsided when reporters started calling on Friday.

“What initial inquiry are you referring to?” the superintendent wrote in his reply to Paxton’s office, asking for evidence that the school was breaking any rules, and whether the state had made any attempt to find out before going public.

A week before the attorney general’s letter, Liberty High’s principal had welcomed all students to use the room in an interview with KERA public radio.

“All sorts of folks use it,” school district spokesman Chris Moore told The Washington Post on Saturday. “Muslims pray, Baptists pray, Catholics pray, Buddhists pray, Hindu students pray.”

Moore said he called and emailed Paxton’s office after learning about the letter, but had not received a reply.

“We hadn’t been contacted by right-wing groups, left-wing groups or in-between groups,” Moore said. “Getting that question yesterday from the attorney general was surprising.”

Regardless, he said, the room would be open for prayer as usual come lunchtime Monday — as it has for many years.

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