Archive for February, 2007

Defending The Courts, Faith-Based Initiatives, Government-Sponsored Religion

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning heard oral arguments in an important case that could affect your right to defend the separation of church and state in court.

At issue in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation is a dispute over “standing” – the right to sue.

Taxpayers don’t automatically have the right to sue just because they don’t like […] Read More

Religion in Public Life

Religious affiliation conveys information about a person – but only so much. It is, at best, a shaky guide for judging political candidates.

Nevertheless, the media and some segments of the electorate seem to obsess over the religious views of candidates. Two recent examples come to mind.

The Associated Press reports that Republican Mitt Romney’s great-great-grandfather and great-grandfather practiced […] Read More

Religion in Public Schools

And now for a quick pop quiz. Read the following comments and determine if they constitute preaching:

“If you reject [Jesus'] gift of salvation, then you know where you belong.”

“[Jesus] did everything in his power to make sure that you could go to heaven, so much so that he took your sins on his own body, suffered your pains […] Read More

Religious Right Research

Periodically, a self-appointed political pundit comes along and announces the death of the Religious Right. You can count on it happening every two or three years.

This time, moderate evangelical minister Jim Wallis is presiding at the Religious Right’s alleged funeral. Wallis, author of the popular book God’s Politics, asserted recently in Time magazine that America has entered a post-Religious […] Read More

Church-State Milestones, This Day in History

Although President’s Day was marked, celebrated or shrugged off by Americans on Feb. 19, today marks the 275th birthday of the nation’s first president, George Washington.

On Feb. 22, 1732, Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Va. He was hugely successful in forging a young nation, partly because of his staunch commitment to religious liberty for all.

In 1790, Washington […] Read More

Freedom of Religion, Religion in Public Life

The U.S. military continues to have problems understanding the concept of religious liberty.

About two years ago, Americans United exposed examples of preference toward evangelical Christianity at the U.S. Air Force Academy. More recently, AU attorneys filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Wiccans who want their symbol recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Now The Washington […] Read More

Religion in Public Life, Religious Right Research

It’s amazing the things that get the Religious Right all worked up.

In Denver recently, a member of the Regional Transportation District asked about the possibility of altering an oath of office to remove a reference to God. Dave Ruchman said he was acting on behalf of a former member who felt uncomfortable taking a religious oath.

The oath […] Read More

Evolution & Creationism, Religion in Public Schools

Kansas school children have been caught in a virulent volley over the meaning of science, and how (or whether) they’ll be taught about evolution, since 1999. For the fourth time in eight years, the Kansas State Board of Education has again revised its science standards.

This time, science won. According to the Wichita Eagle, the school board on Tuesday […] Read More

Religion in Public Schools

Rockville Crisis Pregnancy Center (RCPC), the non-profit group responsible for sex education in several Montgomery County, Md., public schools, recently came under fire for asking students to participate in a rather unsanitary exercise. To show how quickly and easily sexually transmitted diseases supposedly spread, 15 students were asked to take turns chewing one stick of gum for five seconds each. […] Read More

Church Politicking, Religious Right Research

Recently President Jimmy Carter announced a new initiative to pull together moderate Baptist bodies under an informal umbrella group. President Bill Clinton endorsed the effort. Both men are Southern Baptists who are unhappy with the right-wing tilt of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

Asked to comment on the Carter project, Richard Land, president of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty […] Read More