In other developed countries, citizens and governments respect the separation of church and state where it exists. In America, we grant religious organizations tax exempt status and also allow them to play a role in politics. Religion has always stuck its nose where it doesn't belong and, while it wasn't as frowned upon during the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, people have come to the realization that religion's place should remain a private matter for individuals rather than something forced upon the rest of society. Washington state thought it would be a good idea to remind churches of this fact.
Though it isn't an official warning, churches in Washington now know not to raise funds for political causes even if it's something as evil and hated like marriage equality. If religious institutions and groups enjoy tax exempt status, they ought to abide by the same rules other tax exempt groups, otherwise, they should start contributing the country in a more efficient way. Now, let's all say Hallelujah and continue to more news you need to know:
- Staying Washington state for just a bit longer, while churches oppose marriage equality in the state, a group of people have expressed their support for Washington United for Marriage, the organization protecting marriage equality in the Evergreen state.
- While a legitimate academic institution published a study revealing how the phrase 'that's so gay' affects LGBT youth, Focus on the Family and the Alliance Defense Fund are finding ways to protect religiously zealous bullies.
- Apparently gay people can control the weather. Who knew? That's what a preacher says so it must be true. Maybe I can somehow make it so it isn't disgustingly humid where I live.
- The GOP doesn't know what it wants. Some delegates agree with what the platform says about marriage, others don't and others don't care for DOMA. It's just way too complicated for them.
- I'm still not sure why some LGBT people identify as Republicans. LGBT delegates at the RNC remain loyal to the GOP despite its virulently anti-gay platform and behavior in the last 3 and half years. Some say they want smaller government and less taxes or that the economy is the issue not LGBT rights; however, is that what the GOP has been working on these past years?
- Freelance journalist Austin Tice, who has been missing for about 2 weeks while reporting from Syria, has now been reported to be in the custody of the Syrian government.
- Sit back and enjoy the show! GLAAD has released its annual Network Responsibility Index, evaluating television channels on their LGBT visibility. I just hope one day the History Channel would air something about a gay person so maybe its rating would make it into the double digits.
(img src: Church St. and State St. signs via Photobucket)