Archive for August, 2004

Church Politicking, Religion in Public Schools, Religious Right Research

Are politicians and their clergy allies hell-bent on dragging religious institutions into partisan politics? They sure seem to be. Look at two events that occurred during the last couple of weeks.

On Aug. 29, Bill Clinton took to the pulpit of Riverside Church in New York City to deliver a sermon-cum-political speech. Although Clinton stopped short of urging the congregation […] Read More

Religious Right Research, Religious School Vouchers

We all know about the Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. Thanks to David Kirkpatrick at The New York Times, we now know a little more about the Council for National Policy(CNP), a secretive group of the country’s most powerful Religious Right leaders and their allies. (The organization met in New York City last […] Read More

Religious Right Research

Former Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed has finally admitted that he accepted money from a lobbying firm to work on behalf of gambling interests – sort of.

The Nation magazine reported July 12 that Reed worked on behalf of a Native American tribe in Louisiana that owns a casino and wanted to keep out competition. Members of the Coushatta […] Read More

Religion in Public Schools, Religious Symbols on Public Property

The federal courts continue to issue rulings against officially sponsored prayers in the public schools.

Earlier this week, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction covers the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas, concluded that prayers held at mandatory public school staff meetings violate the First Amendment principle of church-state separation.

“The government, of course, may speak […] Read More

Marriage & Sexuality

A new front has opened in the move toward “faith-based” prisons.

The “faith-based” initiative has attracted the attention and support of corrections officials in a number of states, including Florida, Texas, Kansas and Iowa. Now Georgia is joining the list.

Georgia newspapers reported yesterday that faith-based dormitories have been set up in six state prisons with plans to add the […] Read More

Church Politicking, Jerry Falwell Sr, Religious Right Research

Jerry Falwell just can’t seem to escape his reputation as being fast-and-loose with the truth. The Religious Right leader encountered unexpected criticism as he prepared to speak in Lufkin, Texas, today.

Falwell’s appearance at a Religious Right get-out-the-vote group was preceded by a scathing editorial in the local Lufkin Daily News. Marc Masferrer reminded the community that the TV […] Read More

Religious Right Research

Bishop T.D. Jakes, a prominent Dallas pastor and author, has voiced serious concerns about President George W. Bush’s much-touted “faith-based” initiative.

Agapepress reported Aug. 18 that Jakes, pastor of Potter’s House Church, has declared that churches accepting federal funds should set up separate entities to carry out publicly funded social services.

“We don’t want to end up in a […] Read More

Marriage & Sexuality, Religious School Vouchers

It’s been a rough week for advocates of so-called “school choice” programs.

First came the Florida appeals court ruling that invalidated the nation’s only statewide school voucher program because it subverted the state’s constitutional provision that bars the government from funding “directly or indirectly … any sectarian institution.” Then The New York Times revealed yesterday in a front-page article […] Read More

Marriage & Sexuality, Religion in Public Life

For the last three years, the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance have sown the seeds of controversy. When a federal appeals court ruled on the issue, church-state separationists were disturbed by the reflexive response of politicians and the media. Instead of attempting to explore the serious religious freedom issue at the heart of the case, they […] Read More

Pat Robertson, Religious Right Research

TV preacher Pat Robertson simply can’t help himself. When given the opportunity to discuss any issue involving the separation of church and state, he inevitably lobs falsehoods and personal attacks at his opponents. Instead of reasoned debate, Pat would rather assail the other side with ad hominem attacks and outright lies.

That’s just what he did yesterday on his “700 […] Read More