Archive for June, 2008

Faith-Based Initiatives

Last week, the White House sponsored a major national conference on “faith-based” funding, featuring a speech by President George W. Bush. Then on Saturday, the president devoted his weekly radio chat to the same topic.

Touting his “new approach called ‘compassionate conservatism’” and praising the “armies of compassion” supposedly empowered by his initiative, he said, “Because of you, I’m confident […] Read More

Inside AU

Sidney GoetzAs Florida faces some of its most challenging church-state separation battles, Americans United members in the state will do so without one of our best advocates.   It is with great sadness that I share with you news that AU member Sidney Goetz of St. Petersburg has died.

Sid […] Read More

Religion in Public Life

On Tuesday, the Center for American Progress released its new book: Debating the Divine. A collection of short essays, the book explores the role of religion in shaping our national policies and our public identity. Coinciding with the announcement of the release, the center sponsored a panel in order to give essayists the opportunity to defend their work. […] Read More

On the Hill

Thanks to a strong push by the Bush administration, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded part of a $1.2 million grant to an evangelical Christian organization, Victory Outreach, whose mission is to carry “the hope and message of Jesus Christ to the four corners of the earth,” ABC News has reported.

The other part of the $1.2 million […] Read More

James Dobson, Religious Right Research

Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson is at it again. Dobson grabbed newspaper headlines this morning with an attack on U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. According to Dobson, Obama holds a “fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution.”

Dobson’s salvo on Obama is based on a 2006 speech the Illinois senator gave to a group of moderate evangelicals. During the speech, […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, Marriage & Sexuality, Religion in Public Life

In America, we separate church and state. Is it time – maybe past time – to apply that principle to marriage?

In an interesting article carried by the Associated Baptist Press (ABP) this week, Washington correspondent Rob Marus draws attention to the entanglement between religion and government inherent in the conflict over who should be allowed to marry.

“In […] Read More

Religion in Public Life

Along with ensuring religious liberty, the First Amendment protects the freedom of speech. Thanks to the Internet, people can exercise their freedom of speech faster than ever, and Americans United heard from a bevy of them yesterday after we filed a lawsuit in South Carolina against the state’s new “I Believe” license plate.

The idea behind the […] Read More

Evolution & Creationism

Most Americans accept the theory of evolution and actually favor teaching evolution over creationism or intelligent design in public school science classes, according to a new study conducted by a coalition of scientific societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, National Science Teachers Associations and the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

This runs contrary to studies through the years, […] Read More

Religious School Vouchers

A House Appropriations subcommittee voted yesterday to extend funding for another year to a school voucher program in the District of Columbia, despite  two consecutive  reports from  the U.S. Department of Education    that showed little to no improvement in the academic performance of students receiving the vouchers.

The measure will move to the full Appropriations Committee next week, […] Read More

James Dobson, Marriage & Sexuality, Religion in Public Life, Religious Right Research

Sunday was Father’s Day. Like millions of men all over the country, I enjoyed a little extra attention from my family. I got cards from my daughter and son, and my wife made one of my favorite meals, topping it off with her sinfully decadent coconut cake.

Alas, this domestic bliss will soon be a thing of the past. The […] Read More