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A Big Cheese for a Big Cheese

The Mammoth Cheese of Cheshire was the most unusual gift ever given to a President of the United States. In the aftermath of the "Revolution of 1800", the eccentric Baptist preacher John Leland decided to celebrate the presidency of Thomas Jefferson by convincing the predominantly Baptist farmers of Cheshire, Massachusetts to create a giant 1,235-pound block of cheese as a monument to small-"r" republicanism and religious freedom. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Dec 3, 2007 - 29 comments

New Supreme Court Opinions

A very big day for the Supreme Court. In Morse v. Fredrick, the Court ruled that a school could suspend a child for holding up a "Bong HiTs for Jesus" banner. (Previous post here). In Hein v. Freedom from Religion, the Court held that taxpayers lacked standing to challenged Faith Based Initiatives (previous discussions). In Wilke v. Robbins, the Court held that land owners do not have Bivens claims if the federal government harasses landowners for easements. In FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, the Court held that the portion of the campaign finance law which had blackout periods before elections on issue advocacy advertising was an unconstitutional restriction of speech (other). This Thursday, the Justices will deliver their last opinions of the term, including a death penalty case and the school assignment cases. (Opinions are .pdfs)
posted by dios on Jun 25, 2007 - 224 comments

Scientifically proven to benefit humanity

What are you doing on May 3rd? Atheist Volunteers, in conjunction with The Rational Response Squad, want you to spend National Day of Prayer (or is the the National Day of Reason?)donating blood and signing up to be an organ donor. How are other people commemorating NDOP? Christians will be exercising their right to freedom of worship, the Presidential Prayer Team will be doing what their name implies, Bush will probably do what he did last year, and Larry Flint will be praying for the death of Bill O'Reilly.
posted by arcticwoman on Apr 15, 2007 - 34 comments

Blogs under scrutiny in Malaysia

PM of Malaysia: Those who spread untruths on the Net will be detained Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia, warned all bloggers that "if information in blogs, websites and online portals were incorrect, bordered on slander, caused disturbance or compelled the public to lose faith in the nation’s economic policies, their authors would be detained for investigation". The Malaysian government is even considering adjusting the Printing Presses and Publications Act^ to include blogs and online media.

This comes hot on the heels of a government-ordered media blackout on Article 11, a coalition of NGOs dedicated to upholding the principles of Article 11 of the Malaysian constitution, about freedom of religion, after several protests claiming Article 11 to be anti-Muslim and confusing it with the now-defunct Interfaith Comission Initiative, which aimed to be a body of people of different faiths raising awareness about diversity of religion and working together on religious issues.

Minister of Energy, Water, and Communications Dr Lim Keng Yaik said that they will not censor the Internet (as promised when the Multimedia Super Corridor was launched), but after events such as prominent Malaysian political blogger Jeff Ooi being investigated over a supposedly offensive comment on his blog entry about Islam in 2005, and alternative news source MalaysiaKini's office raided after carrying a letter critical of the ruling party's policies in 2003, no one is really quite sure.
posted by divabat on Aug 3, 2006 - 16 comments

God save me from ur ppl!

Don't put a restraining order on God the toughest challenge of living in a democracy is to respect the freedom of other people to live according to values that are not your own. Real freedom, however, does not thrive in a moral vacuum (the ardent secularist) or a moral straightjacket (the ardent theocratic). What does my ideal of democracy look like? I can sum it up in a single sentence: A person arrives at faith freely, practices it openly, and uses dialogue with others about their own life path to deepen their understanding. another interesting read from the same webpage: God is not a Republican or a Democrat: the Religious Right does not speak for you. Remind America that Jesus taught us to be peacemakers, advocates for the poor, and defenders of justice.. this article is a little dated, but it is relevant for people who choose to accept Jesus as the Christ but do not want someone's political agenda attached to their belief system.
posted by Hands of Manos on Dec 9, 2004 - 127 comments

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