More examples of how religion, particular the fundamentalist type, can be bad for society and liberty.
I. Many parents are coming out in support of their gay and lesbian children. Even those parents who were, or still are, devoutly religious. It is a different dynamic then the gay children of non-believers or the non-religiously devout. Religion creates barriers to acceptance, especially fundamentalist religion.
Well, a church in Collegedale, Tennesse is kicking out the family and mother of a gay woman, Kat Cooper (who is married to a woman that the state of Tennessee refuses to acknowledge) because she testified in support of health benefits for gay and lesbian city employees. Because if anything means moral values, it is denying gays and lesbians health benefits, at least according to this church.
So, the mother, Linda Cooper, whose own family help found Ridgedale Church of Christ, was kicked out because she sat next to her daughter, Kat, while Kat testified. This church is right, they don't want to hear about love and acceptance (a supposed principle of their bible) by actually practicing it.
II. Robert Mugabe, the longterm president/tyrant of Zimbabwe has single handly destroyed that nation. He stated that homosexuality, “destroys nations, apart from it being a filthy, filthy disease.” Wait, did Rick Santorum get elected President of Zimbabwe and change his name to Robert Mugabe?
III. Atheists don't undergoe the discrimination and threat of violence against them as they are in nations like Pakistan or Indonesia, where they risk imprisonment if it comes out they don't believe in a god or gods. But, that is not to say that we are entirely free of government officials who abuse their authority when it comes to religion.
For example, atheist prisoners (though there are very few of them in prisons) were required to participate in the religiously based Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Some, probably were required to participate in both.
Well, a federal court ruling from a decade ago stated that yes, atheists as equal citizens of the U.S., cannot and should not be forced to find a higher power (which both the AA and NA make central in their programs) in order to undergo rehab.
Well, nobody told the parole officer of Barry Hazle who after Mr. Hazle petitioned his agent for a secular alternative to A.A., had Hazle arrested during a session of the group he was attending and put back in prison. Well, Mr. Hazle has won a lawsuit against the state of California, the parole officer and the officer's supervisor. Good.
He should have never been sent back to prison in the first place. Imagine a rehab program that required Christian parolees to state there isn't a god? There would be death threats! But an atheist pressured to participate in a heavily religious program, who cares, right? Well, some cared and three judges on a federal court of appeals cared.
Finally if you want to support humanist values and keeping religion and state separate, please think about joining Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and the American Humanist Association. Thanks.