Archive for April, 2008

On the Hill, Religious School Vouchers

A House appropriations subcommittee holds hearings today on whether to renew Washington, D.C.‘s school voucher scheme. The “Opportunity Scholarship Program,” which has an annual budget of $15 million, provides 1,900 vouchers worth up to $7,500 each for students to attend religious and other private schools in the nation’s capital.

President George W. Bush has allocated $18 million for […] Read More

Church Politicking, Family Research Council

The Family Research Council (FRC) has big plans for this election year – perhaps even legally questionable ones.

Kenyn Cureton, FRC’s vice president for church ministries, appeared April 22 on Religious Right activist Janet Folger’s “Faith2Action” radio program, discussing his organization’s plans for mobilizing pastors this year. He may have been a little too frank.

During the discussion, Folger […] Read More

Church Politicking, Religious Right Research

Clergy, take note: in this election year, the Internal Revenue Service is trying to help you stay out of tax trouble.

Earlier this month, the federal agency announced that it will continue its campaign to educate churches and other tax-exempt charities about the rules governing political activity. It will also enforce the law through appropriate intervention and penalties.

Said Steven […] Read More

Faith-Based Initiatives, Religious School Vouchers

Yesterday wasn’t a great day for church-state separation. President George W. Bush convened a White House summit on ways to finance faith-based schools, and Jeb Bush’s allies took a major step towards erasing religious liberty protections from the Florida Constitution.

Exactly why financing religious schools is in the purview of the government and not religious institutions isn’t […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion in Public Life

If you’re going to Birmingham, Ala., tomorrow, don’t forget to take your sackcloth and ashes!

Huh? Yes, that’s right. Take your sackcloth and ashes. Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford has declared Friday “It’s Time to Pray Day,” and he’s sponsoring a rather unusual worship service at Boutwell Auditorium.

According to the Birmingham News, Langford announced at the city council meeting on […] Read More

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

My time at Americans United comes to an end next week. I’ve learned a lot in my three years here, but the one thing I still cannot understand is why the Religious Right flat-out lies.

They lie about everything: Chuck Colson says the State of Iowa forced his Prison Fellowship Ministries to take public funding; The Alliance […] Read More

Jerry Falwell Sr, Religious Right Research

The late Jerry Falwell’s son, Jonathan, is distraught over the state of our national ethics. In a recent column, he cited a report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) that found that some federal workers had illegally used tax funds to buy things like “Internet dating, tailor-made suits, lingerie [and] lavish dinners.”

No one in his or her right mind […] Read More

Religious Symbols on Public Property

The dispute over Jesus & Co. hanging in a Slidell, La., courthouse ended last week with a mostly favorable ruling by U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle.  

It all started in early July, when City Court Judge Jim Lamz publicly refused to remove a 16th century Russian Orthodox painting called “Christ the Savior” and its accompanying […] Read More

Religion in Public Schools

Here we go again.   There’s another public school teacher out there inappropriately bringing religion into the classroom. This time it’s John Freshwater, a science teacher at Mount Vernon Middle School in Ohio, who’s refusing to remove a Bible from his classroom desk.

This isn’t an innocent mistake by some blissfully ignorant teacher. The Columbus Dispatch reports Freshwater […] Read More

Evolution & Creationism, Religion in Public Schools, Religious Right Research

Any movie buff will tell you that when a studio refuses to make a film available for advance screening by professional critics, chances are you’re dealing with a dog.

Meet the latest dog to stumble into the nation’s multiplexes: Ben Stein’s “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” The film, which promotes the neo-creationist concept of “intelligent design” (ID) opens tomorrow – but […] Read More