Arkansas Religion

baxter county nativity
americanhumanist.org

Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass says he's not sure yet what the county will do now that a federal judge has ruled a Nativity scene on the courthouse lawn violates the Constitution.

Judge Timothy Brooks ruled Thursday that the county must either stop placing any religious seasonal displays on the property or create a public forum allowing displays by all religions and viewpoints including non-religion.

Pendergrass told The Baxter Bulletin on Friday that no decision has been made on which option to follow. He says the county has 14 days to make a decision.

baxter county nativity
americanhumanist.org

A federal judge has ruled that Baxter County in north Arkansas violated the Constitution by displaying a Nativity scene on the courthouse lawn in 2014.

Judge Timothy Brooks issued the ruling Thursday in a lawsuit brought by the American Humanist Association and Baxter County resident Dessa Blackthorn.

lonoke county sheriff Jeff Staley
KATV, Channel 7 News

A debate involving Lonoke County Sheriff's deputies has residents questioning the separation between church and state. KATV, Channel 7 News reports that Sheriff John Staley says the LCSO might be adding ‘In God We Trust' on the back of all 25 patrol cars.

U.S. Rep. French Hill after giving remarks at the Governor's Mansion to the Political Animals Club in 2014, prior to his election.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas's Second District Congressman French Hill was among those impressed by Pope Francis's historic address to Congress Thursday morning. The Republican from Little Rock spoke to KUAR's Chris Hickey about his take on the pontiff's remarks.

 

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and supporters
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

A federal judge has ordered Arkansas to temporarily reinstate its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood after the state blocked funding over concerns about secretly recorded videos released by an anti-abortion group.

Sister Simone Campbell in Fayetteville.
KARK

Coinciding with Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S. this month a busload of social justice-minded nuns is touring the country, with three stops in Arkansas.

Sister Simone Campbell, of the lobbying group NETWORK, said she supports the Pope’s message of an inclusive economy.

UPDATE: The Washington County Clerk's office reports that voters approved the anti-discrimination ordinance 52.8 percent to 47.2 percent. 14,593 ballots were cast out of 49,634 registered voters. 

Arkansas State Capitol
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A group is asking Arkansas officials to allow a Satanic statue to be constructed outside the state Capitol, where a new law allows a monument to the Ten Commandments.

The Satanic Temple on Tuesday formally submitted its request to the secretary of state and the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission to approve its proposed monument to Baphomet, which depicts Satan as a goat-headed figure with horns, hooves, wings and a beard. The Massachusetts-based group says it will pay all costs associated with the monument's installation.

Fayetteville's City Council in an August meeting on an anti-discrimination ordinance.
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

A state judge has ruled a northwest Arkansas city can vote next week on a proposal to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin on Thursday denied a motion to block next week's special election on the Fayetteville anti-discrimination ordinance.

Opponents of the ordinance had sought a temporary restraining order and had argued, among other things, that the ordinance violated a state law aimed at preventing local anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R)
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

Some 6,000 inmates are released every year from Arkansas prisons, reentering society to find few employment opportunities or support. Meanwhile thousands of foster children face a shortage of foster beds. That's why Governor Asa Hutchinson called for the "Restore Hope" Summit which takes place Tuesday, August 25 and Wednesday, August 26. 

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