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Image: Thanksgiving Reprise: Forgetting the Holy; The Feast of the Intransitive Verb

Thanksgiving Reprise: Forgetting the Holy; The Feast of the Intransitive Verb

November 25, 2014

By Zachary Enos, Assistant Director of Communications

If certain bureaucrats had their way, Christmas and Hanukah would become “Sparkle Season,” St. Valentine’s Day would be branded “Special Persons Day,”  and Easter—the “Spring Festival.” But hey, since stingy officials ignore common sense all the time, why stop there? We celebrate other public Holidays—a word which comes from the Old English for “holy day.” Why not eradicate the spirit of faith from Thanksgiving, too?

Becket Fund Founder Seamus Hasson tackles that question in his now classic bit of wit, Forgetting the holy; The Feast of the Intransitive Verb. In the fall of 1999, Seamus suggested that crusading government bureaucrats would rather host a November non-sense feast, than risk encouraging someone to thank God. Here’s how he began:

“Every fourth Thursday in November work and school are canceled so that families can gather together for the day and thank – well, we’ll get to just who it is they may be thanking in a minute. They also enjoy good food, good company and good football. The holiday is currently called Thanksgiving, although there is reason to think that may have to change.

Just about every other religious holiday has been stripped of its original meaning and transformed into a more secular version of its former self. Why should Thanksgiving be any different?”

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Image: 750 to 1: Time for a Do-Over in <em>Notre Dame</em>

750 to 1: Time for a Do-Over in Notre Dame

November 7, 2014

By Daniel Blomberg, Legal Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

“Rubbish.”

That’s what Judge William Pryor of the Eleventh Circuit called the Seventh Circuit’s narrow, 2-1 decision in University of Notre Dame v. Sebelius, an HHS Mandate case.

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Image: Native American Heritage Month: Much to Celebrate, Much to Defend

Native American Heritage Month: Much to Celebrate, Much to Defend

November 1, 2014

By Stephanie Keenan

November is National American Indian Heritage Month. So this month, we celebrate not only Guy Fawkes Night, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving – but also the Native American culture.

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Image: What’s in Wisconsin’s water?

What’s in Wisconsin’s water?

October 1, 2014

By Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

The Debbie Downers of Madison are at it again – the Freedom From Religion Foundation (“FFRF,” pronounced “furf”) has sent a nasty letter to a high school band in Ohio. What sin is FFRF complaining about this time?  Members of the Licking Valley High School Marching Band are wearing t-shirts that have the word “Salvation” printed on them.

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Image: Becket Fund Applauds Lift on Headscarf Ban

Becket Fund Applauds Lift on Headscarf Ban

September 29, 2014

By Asma Uddin, Legal Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Last week, Turkey lifted its ban on the Muslim headscarf for girls in middle and high school. While girls in primary school are still not permitted to wear headscarves, they have the choice to do so starting in fifth grade (this is also usually the time when many girls reach puberty and the religious dress code requirements become applicable).

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Image: Becket Fund Congratulates Rabbi Saperstein on Nomination

Becket Fund Congratulates Rabbi Saperstein on Nomination

July 28, 2014

Today President Obama announced his intent to nominate Rabbi David Nathan Saperstein to the position of Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, a position within the U.S. State Department.The Becket Fund congratulates Rabbi Saperstein on his pending nomination. In his role as Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Rabbi Saperstein has frequently supported religious liberty in general and clients of the Becket Fund in particular, both through amicus briefs and public statements. For example, Rabbi Saperstein and the Religious Action Center supported the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, a Becket Fund client in Tennessee, in its struggle to build a new mosque in the face of opposition from neighbors. At the time Rabbi Saperstein explained, “An attack on one religion is an attack on all religions.”

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Image: Hobby Lobby (In)Sanity and the Right to be Wrong

Hobby Lobby (In)Sanity and the Right to be Wrong

July 17, 2014

By Adèle Keim, Legal Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Tired of all the overblown claims about what the Supreme Court actually did in Hobby Lobby? So is the Washington Post. And Politifact. Megan McArdle’s Q & A at Bloomberg is a terrific antidote as well. And of course, you can find Becket’s perspective here.

But the brouhaha about Hobby Lobby raises a bigger question: how do we get along in a nation where we strongly disagree about things like birth control, sex, and religion?

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