Archive for January, 2009

Charter Schools, Religion in Public Schools

In the final days of his administration, former President George W. Bush issued a report on why our country needs more charter schools. The document even suggested ways that schools might circumvent the constitutional ban of school-sponsored religion.

That’s a recipe for controversy, of course. And Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), a charter school in Minnesota, is the latest […] Read More

Religion in Public Schools

Today, Scripps Howard columnist Bonnie Erbe reminded us again of why church-state separation must be respected in our public schools.

Usually, when we think of religion in public schools, we think of the students and how they should be free from indoctrination. But Erbe’s column shows us that it is not just the students. Teachers, administers and other school […] Read More

Freedom of Religion, Religion in Public Life, Religious Discrimination, Religious Right Research

Last week I wrote about the experiences my daughter and I had while attending the inauguration of President Barack Obama on the National Mall. I noted that during his inaugural address, Obama pointed out that America’s diversity is a strength.

“We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers,” Obama said. “We are shaped […] Read More

Religion and politics

Is the state of Utah a theocracy?

You certainly might think so after reading an article in today’s Salt Lake Tribune.

More than 80 percent of legislators are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and for the past 15 years, legislative leaders have met annually with Mormon church officials to discuss the coming year’s agenda. […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion in Public Life

Prayer at governmental meetings is a never-ending source of controversy. Latest case in point: an ire-inducing invocation at the Kansas House of Representatives last week.

Guest Chaplain Brian Schieber, pastor of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, took advantage of his place at the speaker’s podium to launch a vitriolic attack on reproductive freedom.

According to the […] Read More

Evolution & Creationism, Religion in Public Schools

Today seems to be a pretty good end to a very historical week — at least on the church-state separation front.

This morning, the Texas State Board of Education voted 8-7 to approve science standards that leave out well-known creationist code language that could weaken science education.

A final vote is scheduled for March, but according to a report from […] Read More

Church Politicking, Religious Right Research

Could it be true – a new generation of conservative Christian leaders may actually be opposed to politics from the pulpit?

At least one Florida church leader seems to be.

William Graham Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of famous evangelist Billy Graham and the new pastor of Ft. Lauderdale’s Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, surprisingly says he has no interest talking politics. […] Read More

Election '08, Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion in Public Life

I hadn’t planned to attend the Inauguration of Barack Obama on the National Mall, since I’m not a huge fan of big crowds and cold weather. But yesterday morning at 9 I found myself on the Mall, surrounded by 1.5 million others, staring at a jumbo screen.

How did this happen? Blame it on my 14-year-old daughter. Claire was determined […] Read More

Inside AU

It’s Inauguration Day, and much of Washington, D.C., official and non-official, is closed. That includes Americans United.

Many Americans are celebrating today. Even those who did not vote for Barack Obama can take a minute to reflect upon another transition of power in the world’s most vibrant democracy. We are all fortunate to be a part of that.

Celebrate or […] Read More

This Day in History

Note: Today is the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. This blog post is a re-publication on an item that originally appeared on Jan. 13, 2006.

Today marks the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. Since his tragic assassination on April 4, 1968, King’s memory has been pressed into service in highly unusual ways that King […] Read More