Archive for December, 2007

Faith-Based Initiatives, Freedom of Religion, Religious Right Research, Religious School Vouchers

In 2008, newspapers and other mediums are inevitably filled with ruminations on resolutions for the New Year.

Lots of those resolutions will likely urge the citizenry to take all sorts of varying actions, such as resolving to stop overeating or watching too much television.

The lists are also frequently laden with triteness.

But not here at AU’s blog. Instead, […] Read More

Freedom of Religion, This Day in History

I love a good remonstrance! That rather clunky and antiquated word is out of favor now, but Merriam Webster tells us that it means “an earnest presentation of reasons for opposition or grievance; especially : a document formally stating such points.”

Yesterday was the 350th anniversary of the Flushing Remonstrance. Never heard of it? Don’t be embarrassed; most people […] Read More

Church Politicking, Freedom of Religion, Government-Sponsored Religion

With the Iowa caucuses just a week a way, two Hawkeye State leaders have tackled the increasingly problematic mixing of religion and politics in the presidential race.

Writing in the Des Moines Register, former Democratic lieutenant governor Sally Pederson and former Republican lieutenant governor Joy Corning challenged the misuse of faith by political candidates.

“We both are political people,” Pederson […] Read More

Religion in Public Schools

Americans United‘s voice and e-mail boxes were filled last week with messages questioning letters we sent to two South Carolina school districts.

It came to our attention recently that public school officials in Aiken and Edgefield Counties were partnering with the First Baptist Church of North Augusta’s “Laces 4 Love” ministry to provide needy children with […] Read More

Freedom of Religion, Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion in Public Life, Religious Right Research, Religious Symbols on Public Property

It’s Christmas, 2007. Some Americans are observing this day by attending religious services, others are celebrating in a mostly secular fashion while still others aren’t making note of it at all.

What could be better than to have the right to choose for yourself?

I was reminded recently that it wasn’t always that way.   I’ve been reading an Read More

Evolution & Creationism, Religion in Public Schools

Texas education officials appear bent on wrecking science education in the state by opening the door to discussion of creationism or its modern variant, “intelligent design.”

Earlier this month the Texas Education Agency, which is inching toward rewriting the state’s science education standards, booted its director of science curriculum, Christine Castillo Comer, after she sent an e-mail announcing a forthcoming […] Read More

Church Politicking, Religious Right Research

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, recently appeared before a meeting of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and declared, “I do not endorse candidates. I don’t. I won’t.”

According to an online report about the event, “Land said it is not the policy of the ERLC to pick a horse in […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion in Public Life

The job of a politician is to make laws, but unfortunately some can’t help grandstanding. Some of their actions become deserving of contempt. It brings to mind a somewhat famous Oscar Wilde observation, “The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.”

So it is in Tennessee, where earlier this week the Knox County Commission spent hours debating […] Read More

Faith-Based Initiatives, Freedom of Religion, Government-Sponsored Religion

It’s frustrating. Regardless of how many times we explain there’s no reliable evidence that Prison Fellowship’s InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) reduces recidivism or that even if there was, it wouldn’t give states license to violate the Constitution, some people still insist faith-based prison programs are the only answer to society’s woes.

Michael Fannon of Alexandria, Va., recently […] Read More

James Dobson, Religious Right Research

Focus on the Family Action, a fundamentalist Christian political group that — according to assorted self-appointed media pundits is part of the dead Religious Right movement — looks like it might still be alive and kicking.

Tom Minnery, senior vice president of the organization, recently issued an e-mail of marching orders to the faithful. It outlines a quite ambitious agenda. […] Read More