Archive for April, 2007

Religious Right Research

There was always a certain arrogance about TV preacher D. James Kennedy’s right-wing lobbying group called the Center for Reclaiming America.

It’s that term “reclaiming” that sticks in the craw. To hear Kennedy tell it, America was once the property of certain types of far-right Christians. The country was taken from them, and they have a duty to “reclaim” it. […] Read More

Religious Right Research, Worldview Weekend

There is nothing the fringe of the Religious Right loves more than a good conspiracy theory – the wilder and more unsubstantiated it is, the more they like it.

Recently, a letter purporting to implicate Muslims in the Virginia Tech massacre has been making the rounds on Religious Right Web sites, most notably on a “news service” promoted by Worldview […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion

“Faith-based” public services began percolating throughout the government after President George Bush declared his support for that agenda in 2001. Since then, we’ve seen faith-based marriage counseling, faith-based inmate rehabilitation and faith-based sex education in the schools.

What’s next, you may ask — faith-based postal services? No way. That’s just too far-fetched.

In fact, it isn’t. […] Read More

Religion in Public Life

In a recent interview with The Christian Century, renowned journalist Bill Moyers took up the contentious question of religion and politics.

When asked what role religion should play in public life, Moyers responded with a question of his own. “Whose religion?” he asked. “And who is going to decide?” he pressed, after listing only a few of the […] Read More

Religion in Public Life, Religion in Public Schools, Religious Right Research

Many Americans are still in shock over the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech. Families who lost loved ones are trying to deal with the unspeakable horror that unfolded last week.

These families need our support. The last thing they need to hear are idiotic ramblings by people like Newt Gingrich and other far-right figures offering their twisted analysis of what […] Read More

Religion in Public Life, Religious Symbols on Public Property

Life often calls out in vain for some levity, a respite from so much that goes horribly wrong. So one might find it a welcome moment when recently Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia described himself as a “centrist” on church-state controversies.

In light of Scalia’s lengthy court record, his description of himself as a centrist initially elicits a moment of […] Read More

Faith-Based Initiatives, Government-Sponsored Religion, Marriage & Sexuality

A recent report issued by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that the Religious Right’s much-vaunted abstinence-until-marriage education does not change teens’ sexual behavior.

According to a study conducted by Mathmatica Policy Research, Inc., participants in abstinence-until-marriage programs were no more likely to abstain from sexual activity until marriage than their peers who received comprehensive sex education. […] Read More

Defending The Courts, Judicial Nominations

Today’s ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to spark more controversy over the role of government in moral matters.

In a 5-4 decision, the justices upheld a federal ban on so-called “partial birth” abortions, undertaking the first rollback of reproductive rights at the high court. The majority opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart overturned several lower court rulings […] Read More

Lou Sheldon, On the Hill, Religious Right Research, Traditional Values Coalition

I wrote previously about the Religious Right’s opposition to the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 1592), a measure to aid in the prosecution of violent crimes perpetrated because of the victim’s (perceived or actual) religion, race, color, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Religious Right leader and bill opponent Lou Sheldon […] Read More

Freedom of Religion, Religion in Public Life

For 10 years, the Rev. Henry Heffernan ministered to patients and their families undergoing treatment at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) W.G. Magnuson Clinical Center, the nation’s premier medical research facility.

The Catholic priest suddenly lost his job in 2004 but was reinstated in February 2007 after two federal review panels found that the reverend was a target of […] Read More