Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, along with six other Indiana tech CEOs, co-signed a letter opposing the a bill which would allow business to refuse to serve LGBT customers. When asked about his participation in the effort, Benioff said in an email to IBJ: "We will be forced to dramatically reduce our investment in Indiana based on our employees' and customers' outrage over the Indiana religious freedom bill." [more inside]
The Satanic Temple is a controversial religious organization whose main purpose is not to worship Satan, but to bring awareness to the varieties of religious freedom in the United States. [more inside]
The Texas Freedom Network reports [pdf] on some of the repercussions of the Texas state legislature's House Bill 1287, which allows for an expansion of the role of religion in the Texas public school curriculum.
You are likely already familiar with many of the arguments for and against marriage equality but here are cogent arguments for precisely why it is needed, unthreatening, and beneficial; patiently explained by a gay philosopher who recently spent quite a bit of time hanging out with NOM’s co-founder, Maggie Gallagher. [more inside]
After much protestation from religious communities, the Obama administration has compromised on its controversial contraceptive law. Non-profit organizations (such as hospitals) that are affiliated with religious institutions will not be required to provide contraceptives--but insurance companies will. But some Catholics still aren't satisfied.
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey defends his appointment of Sohail Mohammed to the state bench. Sohail Mohammed is New Jersey's first Indian-born Superior Court Judge. "After Christie nominated Mohammed in January for the judgeship, the former federal prosecutor found himself accused of cozying up to Islamic radicals. Mohammed’s confirmation hearing before the state Senate included two hours of grilling, including inquires about Sharia, jihad and Hamas." [more inside]
From The Wild Hunt:
A case coming before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could end up having major legal ramifications for all religious minorities in the United States. Wiccan chaplain Patrick McCollum has been fighting for years to overturn the State of California’s “five faiths policy”, which limits the hiring of paid chaplains to Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Native American adherents. While McCollum has suffered setbacks in his quest, with a California federal district court ruling in early 2009 that he had no standing to bring his suit, he recently gained support on appeal from several civil and religious rights groups who argue that his case should be heard.[more inside]
James Madison is more responsible than any other single American for one of the nation's greatest characteristics -- religious freedom.
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]
Nhat Hanh back in Vietnam for the second time since his exile in 1973. He will lead three requiem masses "to offer prayers and healing energy to those who suffered unjustly as victims of war."
Freedom from annoyance vs. freedom of religious expression A municipal bylaw restricting when Jehovah's Witnesses can go door-to-door protects residents' right to privacy and does not violate the group's right to religious freedom and expression, a lawyer argued Tuesday. The City of Blainville, which believes many of its residents don't want Jehovah's Witnesses at their door on weekends and in the evening, is appealing a lower-court ruling that declared its bylaw unconstitutional. But the three justices cautioned Mr. Paquin that it's dangerous to distinguish between someone's right to religious freedom and their right to express their religious beliefs.