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Religious Beliefs

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NEWS
April 1, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
SPURRED BY a local push from parents and educators, the Philadelphia School District is giving parents new information about their right to excuse their children from standardized testing. The district earlier this month sent home information regarding the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, which students in third to eighth grade will take next month. The packet includes frequently asked questions, which districts are required to provide under state law, along with a letter signed by the school principal telling families where to find information on opting out. According to the information from the state Department of Education, if after reviewing the test parents find it to be "in conflict with their religious belief and wish their student(s)
NEWS
June 26, 1986
I am continually appalled and dismayed at President Reagan's persistent use of his office as a means to change the very character of the United States and what it should and does represent to all who are citizens. The recent message he sent to the Southern Baptist Convention asking delegates to use their religious influence to bring back prayer in the public school and abolish abortion is just one more example of his effort to Christianize this country and make it intolerant of those who do not agree with his religious beliefs.
NEWS
March 29, 2005
I don't often agree with Michael Smerconish. I agree with him that the intervention of politicians to enforce their religious beliefs in the Schiavo case is inappropriate and religiously bigoted. I am proud our court system has refused to intervene, and only wish that Smerconish had acknowledged that courts occasionally make decent decisions. I also wish he connected the dots between the conservative foundations, the Republican inquisition against those with religious differences, and the zealots who shoot doctors, and intimidate clinic patients.
NEWS
March 7, 2005
WHY IS IT that people don't eat meat during Lent? Is this such a sacrifice? Jesus gave up his life and died on a cross, yet people who follow a religious tradition feel they are being challenged by not eating roast beef? But they can eat fish, which I consider a treat! What makes not eating red meat but eating a lobster a sacrifice? A real sacrifice would be to show some true faith by dedicating your religious beliefs not only on the holidays, but throughout the entire year.
NEWS
March 22, 2007
RE BRYAN M. Kilpatrick's response to Michael Ginsberg's March 12 letter on the Bible and homosexuality: It's my take that Ginsberg's use of the Old Testament examples were to refute another earlier letter-writer's comments. Therefore, Mr. Kilpatrick needs to take the earlier writers comments into account before criticizing Ginsberg's. As for the comment about people using the Bible to fit their own agenda: I agree. But it goes both ways. So-called devout Christians use the Bible's words to judge and persecute others.
NEWS
February 25, 1986
The effort of James J. Kilpatrick to equate secular humanism (Op-ed Page, Feb. 16) with religion must be resisted. Secular humanism and religion represent totally different ways of thinking. They are not simply competing religious beliefs to be discussed on an equal footing. Religions contain several elements of thought absent from secular humanism: the belief that truth is obtained through faith, the use of ritual to channel experience and belief and, most important, a belief in supernatural entities: gods, devils, heavens, hells, life after death and resurrection.
NEWS
August 30, 1991 | BY STEPHEN PIZZO, From the New York Times
There is something the militant anti-abortion activists don't seem to understand. What they are now doing to women seeking abortions - blocking entry to clinics and generally making themselves obnoxious - is a two-way street. If they succeed in infringing the rights of fellow Americans, they too have rights that can, and almost certainly will, be attacked in response. Freedom of religion depends entirely on maintaining a strict separation between abstract religious beliefs, which are a matter of faith, and the social and human needs of a pluralistic society.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
When Gov. Mike Pence refused seven times to say whether a new Indiana law allows discrimination against gay people, the logical assumption was that he didn't want to admit that it does. Since that Sunday interview on ABC's This Week, however, it has become clear that the law was not written to allow discrimination, which means Pence's dance around the truth was likely calculated to score political points with opponents of gay marriage. Pence changed his tune after the public reaction to the new law threatened events such as the coming NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in Indianapolis.
NEWS
May 18, 1989 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
A federal judge yesterday enjoined the School District of Philadelphia from enforcing an 1895 state law that prohibits teachers from wearing "any dress, mark, emblem or insignia" indicating that they are a member or adherent of a religious sect or denomination. U.S. District Judge James McGirr Kelly in effect overturned Section 11-1112 of the Pennsylvania school code, which the judge ruled "is contrary to and in conflict with" Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act permits a "reasonable accommodation" to a person's religious beliefs.
NEWS
December 4, 1997
It is too easy to flail away at City Council President John Street for his intransigence in bottling up three pieces of legislation that would equalize benefits for city employees who are in same-sex couples. Especially because the bills are supported by a majority of Council members, the same men and women who elected him president. No flailing here and no demonizing of Mr. Street, which others have seen fit to do. Rather, it should be understood that the moral dilemma facing the Council head is real, a matter of strongly held religious beliefs that need to be respected.
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NEWS
April 3, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
When Gov. Mike Pence refused seven times to say whether a new Indiana law allows discrimination against gay people, the logical assumption was that he didn't want to admit that it does. Since that Sunday interview on ABC's This Week, however, it has become clear that the law was not written to allow discrimination, which means Pence's dance around the truth was likely calculated to score political points with opponents of gay marriage. Pence changed his tune after the public reaction to the new law threatened events such as the coming NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in Indianapolis.
NEWS
April 1, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
SPURRED BY a local push from parents and educators, the Philadelphia School District is giving parents new information about their right to excuse their children from standardized testing. The district earlier this month sent home information regarding the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, which students in third to eighth grade will take next month. The packet includes frequently asked questions, which districts are required to provide under state law, along with a letter signed by the school principal telling families where to find information on opting out. According to the information from the state Department of Education, if after reviewing the test parents find it to be "in conflict with their religious belief and wish their student(s)
BUSINESS
September 26, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
A SEPTA janitorial worker and the transit agency are fighting over the worker's dismissal for refusing to work on holy days, including Rosh Hashanah. Romel McAlpin of Germantown was fired last year by SEPTA for refusing to work on Rosh Hashanah and Oct. 12, his Sabbath. McAlpin, according to legal documents, is an adherent of the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, a sect that observes Jewish holy days and marks the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. McAlpin, a maintenance custodian in subway tunnels, notified SEPTA of his religious beliefs shortly after he was hired in May 2012, according to a legal brief filed by Transport Workers Union Local 234. SEPTA permitted McAlpin to trade days off with other workers to accommodate his beliefs, but only with workers with less seniority, citing seniority clauses in its union contract.
NEWS
July 7, 2014
ISSUE | PRECEDENTS Company mergers are so impersonal The Supreme Court has spoken and Mitt Romney had it right that corporations are people. Personally, I find that a wonderful concept. I started a business a dozen years ago and now, if I can find a rabbi to teach it Hebrew, it can have a bar mitzvah. (Of course, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board wouldn't let it buy alcohol, given that it would have just turned 13.) Similarly, there is a little British firm down the street, and they seem to like each other.
NEWS
February 28, 2014
WHEN advocates of same-sex marriage pushed their case in the courts of both public opinion and law, they made sure to read the following language from that little card provided to them by the tolerance police: "No one will be forced to violate their religious beliefs if Adam can marry Steve and Madame can marry Eve. " Much like the Miranda warnings that became famous after the Supremes decided that magic words were all that were needed to protect the...
NEWS
July 30, 2012 | Letters to the Daily News Editor
COUNCILMAN Jim Kenney wrote a letter to Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy demeaning and insulting his religious beliefs. I hope he also wrote the same letter to every Muslim business owner in the city who has the same religious opposition to gays as Cathy does. Better yet, stay out of people's religious beliefs. You said it yourself in your letter, "As an American you are legally entitled to your opinion. " I believe your opinion to be insensitive and intolerant of Cathy's religious beliefs.
NEWS
May 22, 2012 | By Rachel Zoll, Associated Press
NEW YORK - Roman Catholic dioceses, schools, and other groups sued the Obama administration Monday in eight states and the District of Columbia over a federal mandate that most employers provide workers free birth control as part of their health insurance. The federal lawsuits represent the largest push against the mandate since President Obama announced the policy in January. Among those suing are the Pennsylvania Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Erie, the University of Notre Dame, and the Catholic University of America.
NEWS
February 29, 2012 | By Scot Lehigh
By Scot Lehigh Although Rick Santorum says he's not running for pastor-in-chief, the Republican primary campaign has revealed a candidate too governed by faith to lead a diverse country. That's not because the former Pennsylvania senator is Catholic. Rather, it's because his ultraconservative religious beliefs so inform his life, his values, and his worldview that he would not be able to separate that perspective from public-policy questions, or to decide an issue on the facts rather than faith, even if he wanted to. Not that he does want to, of course.
NEWS
November 7, 2011 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, farrs@phillynews.com215-854-4225
A Muslim man who once was employed at the Whole Foods Callowhill store claims he was heckled by supervisors for praying in a storage area and fired from the supermarket for his religious beliefs. The allegations are especially troubling because Whole Foods had a Ramadan promotion featuring its halal foods this year, said Amara Chaudhry, Philadelphia civil-rights director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is representing the dismissed employee. "We believe that Whole Foods was discriminating against an employee on the basis of religion and it seems to contradict their prior efforts to court the Muslim community," Chaudhry said.
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