Blog of Rights

Daniel
Bullard-Bates
Religious Rites, Students’ Rights, and Rites of Passage

Religious Rites, Students’ Rights, and Rites of Passage

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 1:04pm
For several years, the public high schools of Enfield, Connecticut held their graduation ceremony in the First Cathedral Church in nearby Bloomfield. Students, friends, and family entered the building under a large cross, passed through a lobby decorated with religious banners, and entered into the main sanctuary, where the graduation ceremony took place below a stained glass cross and two banners that read “Jesus Christ is Lord” and “I am God.” Attending graduation meant going to church.

Victory in South Bend

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 5:43pm

Yesterday, a federal court decision barred the City of South Bend, Indiana, from unconstitutionally donating land bought with taxpayer funds to a private religious school. The case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Indiana,…

Rock Beyond Belief

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 12:38pm

On September 25, 2010, an evangelical Christian concert was held on the military base at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. After receiving complaints about the "Rock the Fort" concert, military officials claimed that they would support…

Gov. Christie Is Tired of Dealing with the Crazies

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 5:35pm

"Ignorance is behind the criticism of Sohail Mohammed," said Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey during a press conference last week. "They're criticizing him because he's a Muslim American." Sohail Mohammed was appointed as…

A SHOC-king Disregard for the Constitution

A SHOC-king Disregard for the Constitution

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 10:27am

A public school in South Carolina flagrantly violated the Constitution recently by holding a Christian rap concert for students on school property during school hours. While most people would go to great lengths to avoid being caught breaking the law,…

Your Money's Good Here, It's You That's the Problem

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:15pm

The Douglas County School District in Colorado plans to implement a new voucher program in the coming school year. Up to 500 district students will be "counted" as public school students for the purpose of obtaining state funding, but the…

What Constitution? Anti-Muslim Rep. in North Carolina Pushes for Christian Prayer in Government Meetings

What Constitution? Anti-Muslim Rep. in North Carolina Pushes for Christian Prayer in Government Meetings

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:17pm

Should local officials be able to start their meetings with prayers that endorse a particular faith? North Carolina State Rep. Michele Presnell thinks so, with one tiny caveat: the faith endorsed must be her own. When asked by one of her constituents…

Jail or Church? Between a ROC and a Hard Place

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 5:19pm

When the ACLU calls for alternatives to incarceration, this isn’t what we have in mind. A new program in Bay Minette, Alabama, offers an unconstitutional choice for non-violent offenders. Operation Restore Our Community, or “ROC,”…

Our War Is Not Against Islam

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:32pm

"Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader," President Obama said this Sunday, "he was a mass murderer of Muslims." Despite the President's assertion that "our war is not against Islam," the very next morning in Portland,…

A Bad Deal for South Bend: Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Gift to Religious School

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 6:01pm

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Indiana, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit yesterday against the City of South Bend, Indiana. The city spent taxpayer money to buy a piece of land in South Bend …

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