Other Traditions

Minnesota sex offenders sue over religious restrictions during pandemic

October 6, 2020

More than a dozen men in Minnesota's Sex Offender Program are suing the state's human services department, alleging the agency has banned the practice of religious gatherings for more than six months in the wake of COVID-19.

Attorney Erick Kaardal, who filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of 15 clients, said the restrictions inside the Moose Lake facility continued even after a June executive order from Gov. Tim Walz that allowed places of worship to reopen at 50 percent capacity.

Source:...

Read more about Minnesota sex offenders sue over religious restrictions during pandemic

Freedom From Religion group sues Alabama over ‘So help me God’ voter oath

October 2, 2020

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Alabama’s mandatory religious oath for voter registration.

Alabama is the only state in the country that requires voters to register on a form mandating they swear “so help me God,” without allowing any option of a secular affirmation, the Madison, Wisconsin-based group said.

Source:...

Read more about Freedom From Religion group sues Alabama over ‘So help me God’ voter oath

Satanic Temple sues company that rejected group’s billboards

October 2, 2020

A lawsuit filed by the Satanic Temple alleges that an advertising company unfairly refused to display some billboards promoting a ritual offered by the group to help people bypass abortion rules in some states.

The group, based in Salem, Massachusetts, announced Wednesday that it has sued Lamar Advertising in Arkansas state court. The suit accuses the Louisiana-based company of religious discrimination.

Source:...

Read more about Satanic Temple sues company that rejected group’s billboards

Satanic Temple offers scholarships to high school grads

July 22, 2020

The Satanic Temple is launching a college scholarship for high school students.

The Salem, Massachusetts-based group, which advocates for stricter separation of church and state, among other civil rights issues, said Tuesday that the $500 “Devil’s Advocate Scholarship” is open to any 2020 graduate.

To apply, students must answer one of two questions. One asks applicants to describe what they’ve done to promote the organization’s tenets and mission. The other asks them to describe a teacher who “crushed your spirit, undermined your self-confidence, and made you hate...

Read more about Satanic Temple offers scholarships to high school grads

Black Girl Magic: Black Women Are Looking to Astrology During a Seismic 2020

July 6, 2020

Mani was only 16 years old when she discovered her gift of channelling at a Christian camp. "When I went home I told my mum, she told me that she also receives messages," she remembers. "About a year ago, I started integrating astrology with these other spiritual gifts: channeling, intuitive knowledge, and dream interpretation. After that I found the ...

Read more about Black Girl Magic: Black Women Are Looking to Astrology During a Seismic 2020

Federal appeals court axes Satanic Temple abortion lawsuit

June 10, 2020

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday filed by a member of the Satanic Temple against a Missouri abortion law.

At issue is a law requiring women, before they can get an abortion, to receive a pamphlet that states: “The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”

An anonymous woman, Judy Doe, sued, arguing the law violates her religious freedom as a Satanic Temple member. The Satanic Temple doesn’t believe in a literal Satan but sees the biblical...

Read more about Federal appeals court axes Satanic Temple abortion lawsuit

Where Group Prayer Meets Group Fitness

May 20, 2020
At first glance, the streaming fitness class looks like any other: blue yoga mats against a neutral background, with ambient music and candles to set the mood. Two athleisure-clad instructors, flanked by hand weights, introduce themselves.
 
The giveaway is the flash of a wooden crucifix.
 
“Surrender all and prepare yourself to go on this journey with us through the stations of the cross with Jesus,” one of the instructors says, her hands in prayer position.
 
Many such classes are...
Read more about Where Group Prayer Meets Group Fitness

Dreadlocks-wearing inmate who sued is released from solitary

May 6, 2020

 

A Pennsylvania inmate whose dreadlocks violated a jail’s haircut policy has been released from solitary confinement after more than a year, although his federal lawsuit is still pending.

A federal magistrate judge on Wednesday granted the request by Eric S. McGill Jr. to withdraw his motion for a preliminary injunction, because the Lebanon County jail adopted a religious exception to its dreadlocks ban and let him out of solitary on April 23.

“It’s absolutely good news, but the fight is not over,” McGill...

Read more about Dreadlocks-wearing inmate who sued is released from solitary

How the coronavirus could change America’s religion of sports

March 25, 2020

More than 90 years ago, on a cold and stormy December night in Kansas, a Christian minister named Charles Sheldon walked into a crowded gymnasium to take in a college basketball game.

Sheldon is best known as the author of “In His Steps,” the 1896 book that popularized the “What Would Jesus Do?” phrase.

But in 1929 Sheldon was not wondering what Jesus would do; he was wondering what his church members were already doing.

As he watched the basketball game play out in front of him, Sheldon began to reflect.

“I couldn’t help wondering, while...

Read more about How the coronavirus could change America’s religion of sports

Pa. prison puts inmates in solitary confinement for dreadlocks, despite religious beliefs on uncut hair

February 26, 2020

The Lebanon County Correctional Facility’s handbook says no inmate can have long hair unless it is worn in a ponytail or a bun. But for many black inmates, that rule doesn’t apply. Instead, they are placed in solitary confinement if they refuse to cut their hair.

One inmate currently in segregated housing says that policy violates his religious rights. Eric McGill, who is Black, wears his hair in dreadlocks. A practicing Rastafarian, McGill has refused to cut his hair since he was taken into custody more than a...

Read more about Pa. prison puts inmates in solitary confinement for dreadlocks, despite religious beliefs on uncut hair