Religion

In U.S. counties with warm winters, temperate summers and beautiful natural resources — like beaches, lakes, hills or mountains — people's rates of affiliation with religious organizations are lower than in other places, according to a new study.

Two Republican religious freedom bills drew strong opposition from gay rights groups, civil liberties organizations and members of the business community Monday. The first bill, known as House Bill 1171 [.pdf], would have forbade government officials from constraining the exercise of religion had it not been struck down in committee.

The second bill, House Bill 1161 [.pdf], would have protected people from facing penalties for refusing to violate their beliefs and was also defeated.

A policy adopted by the Delta County School Board allows outside parties to distribute religious materials on school grounds.  Ali Lightfoot speaks with Kurt Clay, Assistant Superintendent for the Delta County School District who explains the policy and Andrew Seidel, an attorney  for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization that believes the distribution of religious materials in schools creates social pressure for students and infringes on the rights of parents to direct the religious or non-religious upbringing of their children. 

Aired Thursday, July 18 & Sunday, July 21, 2013.