Archive for October, 2008

Judicial Nominations

It’s Halloween, so I’m going to scare the bejeezus out of you.

* Judge William Pryor, U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. A former Alabama attorney general, Pryor went to court to defend notorious Chief Justice Roy Moore’s 2.5-ton Commandments monument in the state judicial building, telling a rally that God had chosen Christians “to save our country and save […] Read More

Election '08, James Dobson, Marriage & Sexuality

Look out, California, the Religious Right is bringing out the big guns!

That is, James Dobson of the Focus on the Family broadcasting empire has accepted an invitation to attend a prayer rally in San Diego this Saturday as the Religious Right’s last attempt to pass Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that would deprive gays and lesbians of the right […] Read More

Church Politicking, Election '08

Americans United has always taken heat from the Religious Right for allegedly turning in only “conservative” churches to the Internal Revenue Service for candidate endorsements from the pulpit.

This 2008 election season has been no different, especially since AU reported the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, N.J., for Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli’s comparison of Democratic candidate Barack Obama to […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion in Public Life, Religion in Public Schools

I just got back from Berlin, where I took part in a conference contrasting the American and German models for dealing with religion in public schools.

The event’s organizers, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (affiliated with Johns Hopkins University), brought together scholars, activists and education officials for a day of discussion and give-and-take. It was very enlightening. […] Read More

Marriage & Sexuality

In all the emotional public debate over same-sex marriage, the overarching issue of church-state separation often gets lost. I’m glad to see that situation beginning to change.

Last week, Mike Swift of the San Jose Mercury News called to talk to about Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment that takes away gay couples’ right to get married in the Golden […] Read More

Church Politicking

Did Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli intend to instruct Catholic congregants on how to vote in his recent essay “A Politician’s Promise: No Right to Life! No Freedom!”?

Heavens no! Where on earth did anyone get that idea?

In case you’re just tuning in, Serratelli, the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, N.J., wrote a screed in the […] Read More

Church Politicking, Election '08

The Christian Coalition has unveiled its “nonpartisan” voter guide for distribution at churches and other locations before the November election. In a letter accompanying the document, Coalition President Roberta Combs calls the guide “one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections.”

What she didn’t say is that her guides are so […] Read More

Church Politicking

Over the past week, Americans United has mailed friendly letters to 100,000 clergy and lay leaders reminding them of the provisions of federal tax law and urging them not to endorse candidates from the pulpit.

We got word from a Baptist pastor in rural Georgia who received our missive, and apparently, wasn’t too happy to hear from us. He […] Read More

Religion in Public Life, Religious Right Research

My 10-year-old son and I spent last night at a Halloween pumpkin carving contest. We had about half an hour to come up with a design, and despite our less-than-stellar knife skills, managed to win a ribbon for “Most Unusual Nose.” (Based on the number of ribbons I saw, I suspect this was one of those contests where everyone got […] Read More

Faith-Based Initiatives

Say you’re a social worker in the Washington, D.C., suburbs and you’ve just heard about a new U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) program intended to keep kids out of gangs. You hop down to the local agency running the project to put in an application.

While there, the agency staffer hands you a form to fill out.

It asks, “Do […] Read More