A meeting of a subcommittee of the Arkansas State Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission was held today, with the three-member group asking questions about materials and construction of the 10 Commandments Monument and the Baphomet statue proposed by The Satanic Temple. A proposed site was selected for the 10 Commandments Monument, but an official with the Church of Satan, after being told their monument couldn't be placed directly beside the 10 Commandments monument as they had requested in their proposal, will be allowed to select their preferred site at a later date.
Interesting little story in the D-G's River Valley & Ozark edition on Nancy Allen, a librarian from Conway who wears a hijab, the traditional headscarf worn by Muslim women, even though Allen herself is a Christian. Allen tells the paper that she is “supporting the Muslim-American community and freedom of religion."
Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Catholic Church's Little Rock diocese has published counsel in the Arkansas Catholic about the identification of people as paying customers of the Ashley Madison website that promoted itself as an outlet for people seeking adulterous affairs.
The Secretary of State's office has denied a request from the Universal Society of Hinduism to erect a privately funded statue of the Hindu god Hanuman, Universal Society of Hinduism President Rajan Zed said in a statement today.
Those wishing to impose their religion on others through the state have a new rallying point — a Revolutionary War banner with a religious message. A skirmish over the flag has broken out in Arkansas, pitting Sarah Palin against the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Catholic diocese of Little Rock intervened in the Arkansas lawsuit attempting to end the state ban on same-sex marriage and his side's loss of that case before the U.S. Supreme Court left him with something less than the pope's occasional conciliatory tone where many disagree with church doctrine.
Speaking to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, Northwest Arkansas megachurch pastor Ronnie Floyd, who serves as the president of the SBC, asked members to take a stand against same-sex marriage, saying God has defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.
The Baxter Bulletin has been reporting on billboards that briefly appeared in the tiny Marion County town of Summit, which depict a cartoon of a snarling man who is supposed to be the Prophet Muhammad.
A bill that will place a monument to the Biblical Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol has passed the House by a vote of 72-7, with one member voting present. Senate Bill 939, known as "The Ten Commandments Monument Display Act," would allow private citizens to fund the creation of a permanent monument to the Biblical Ten Commandments.
The House Education Committee this morning approved bill that previously passed the Senate to allow the University of Arkansas System to establish an eVersity, a lower cost on-line means to get college courses. It was touted as a boon to rural counties with low college-graduation rates.
A group that works to expose abusive priests says it will demonstrate in Little Rock Saturday because of what it believes is an inadequate response by Arkansas Catholic Bishop Anthony Taylor to discovery of an abusive priest in Yell County.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which advocates for the civil rights of Muslims, has asked US Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate The Gun Cave, the Hot Springs firing range that announced itself as a "Muslim-free zone" on social media last week.
The owner of The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range in Hot Springs, Jan Morgan, announced yesterday that she is banning the presence of Muslims in her business. Her reasoning: "Why would I hand guns and ammunition to people whose religion commands them to kill me and my non-muslim patrons?" OK, let's get that lawsuit rolling.
A homily delivered by Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of the diocese of Little Rock and posted yesterday on the arkansas-catholic.org website says that a priest from Dardanelle has been permanently removed from ministry after admitting what Taylor called "multiple acts of sexual misconduct with multiple adult victims."
Edward Levi, a distinguished professor of law at the University of Chicago, has written for the Huffington Post about life in the 10 most religious states in the U.S. — Utah, Oklahoma and eight southern states including Arkansas.
The U.S. Supreme Court's blithe dismissal of the interests of religious minorities in yesterday's case on regular Christian prayer to begin a New York town council meeting prompts this New York Times sidebar on what some people really mean when they claim advocacy for free speech rights.
The Duggars of Northwest Arkansas — they of the bargeload of kids, "Quiverfull" beliefs, and squeaky-clean reality TV show on TLC — get tarred by association in an opinion piece out today from The Daily Beast that examines the cracks in the Biblical Patriarchy movement, which holds that God supports and blesses a specific family structure, with husbands making decisions and wives joyfully obeying.
Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.
The family of a 4-year-old girl from Harrison who fell from a moving church bus on April 19 issued a statement through their attorney yesterday, asking for privacy as the investigation into the incident continues. The family said the girl is still receiving medical care related to the incident — caught on a paramedic's dashboard camera — in which she opened the back door of a moving church bus and was flung to the pavement, with the bus driving away.
Photos taken Thursday night by Brian Chilson and David Koon, at Cummins Prison in Grady, the State Police barricade away from the prison and in front of the Governor's Mansion, before and after the execution of Ledell Lee.