Archive for June, 2009

Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion in the Military

Aggressive fundamentalist Christian organizations are continuing their efforts to expand their presence in the U.S. military.

Last month, researcher Jeff Sharlet penned a disturbing article for Harper’s magazine about efforts to “Christianize” the military. Newsweek ran a similar story online on June 20. The articles attracted a lot of attention and put the issue in the spotlight once […] Read More

Religious School Vouchers

Did you plan to make a contribution to Washington, D.C.’s Blessed Sacrament Elementary School? How about Muhammad University of Islam or First Rock Baptist Christian Church School?

Guess what? You already have.

Those three schools and 52 additional religious and other private schools in the District of Columbia were beneficiaries of the federally funded D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program during […] Read More

Religious Right Research

Yesterday, Let Freedom Ring Ministries (LFRM) sponsored the first of many grassroots rallies it hopes will “save” America from “destruction.”

The Roanoke Times reported that around 100 people showed up at the Penn Forest Worship Center in Roanoke, Va., to listen to speakers peddle “Christian nation” propaganda.

LFRM, led by Bethlehem, Ga.-based religious broadcaster and pastor Jody Hice, preaches […] Read More

Faith-Based Initiatives, Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion in Public Life

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to take my cousin Sam, visiting from London, to a luncheon at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. A political studies student at Leeds University, he was interested to learn about the impact of religion on our national politics.

When we arrived at AEI, we were greeted warmly, but […] Read More

Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson, Religious Right Research

Last month I wrote a story for Church & State speculating about possible new leaders for the Religious Right. I focused on Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Rick Warren and others.

One person I did not think to include was Ralph Reed, the one-time wunderkind who served as executive director of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition from 1989 to 1997.

I […] Read More

Jerry Falwell Sr, Jonathan Falwell, Religious Right Research

Americans United reacted quickly when word spread recently that officials at Liberty University had revoked university recognition of a student Democratic Party club.

AU, noting that recognition and funding were still being extended to a Republican club on campus, asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the matter. Liberty University, as a tax-exempt institution, could not lawfully favor one […] Read More

Religion in Public Schools

With public schools facing budget cuts, most school officials are looking for ways to spread each dollar as far as it can go.

One would think that means the school would us that money to pay teachers, improve the curriculum, maintain the building and buy school supplies. That’s probably what Santa Rosa County School District would prefer to do as […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, Tax Funding of Religion

South Carolina state officials have rejected a Christian television network’s tax-exempt status after discovering it brings in $39 million in profit, a Charlotte news station reports.

The Inspiration Network, a 24-hour-a day network that preaches “prosperity gospel” to more than 54 million U.S. households via cable and satellite, will begin paying nearly $800,000 in property taxes this October. […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion in Public Life

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is known for lots of things – “Sesame Street,” Barney the purple dinosaur, “The Newshour,” insightful documentaries, etc.

One thing PBS has not been associated with is promoting religion. PBS, of course, can air documentaries and other programs about religion, its history and its effect on culture. But proselytization and indoctrination should be verboten in […] Read More

Church-State Milestones, The U.S. Supreme Court, This Day in History

I grew up in Ohio in late ’80s through the ’90s. My parents, sisters and I were one of the few South Asian families in town, and I was one of only two Hindu students in my graduating class of nearly 350 students.

Fortunately for me, it mattered little that I was Hindu and most of my classmates were Christian. […] Read More