Archive for October, 2009

Pat Robertson, Religion in Public Schools, Religious Right Research

What should public schools do about Halloween?

Americans United has never taken a formal position on this question, but since I have two children attending public schools, I’ve given it some thought. It has been on my mind even more so lately since I’ve been working on a costume for my 11-year-old son that involves a lot of duct tape. […] Read More

Faith-Based Initiatives

I just got back from New York City, where I spoke at an interesting event sponsored by our friends at the Center for Inquiry.

On Tuesday night, a three-person panel discussed the issue “Church and State in the Obama Era” at All Souls Church, a Unitarian-Universalist congregation. I wouldn’t call this event a debate; it was more of a discussion […] Read More

Freedom of Religion, Government-Sponsored Religion, Religious Symbols on Public Property

Yesterday was the 350th anniversary of the hanging of two Quakers by the Puritan establishment in Massachusetts Bay Colony.

William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson had come from England in 1656 to escape religious persecution. But on Oct. 27, 1659, they became the first Quakers in America to be executed because of their religious beliefs.

These men paid with their […] Read More

Freedom of Religion

Here is an issue that for once we may all agree on.

When it comes to “defamation of religion” policies, civil liberties groups and the Religious Right seem to fall on the same side. And now, the Obama administration has also voiced its opposition.

“Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called […] Read More

Religious Right Research

Earlier this month I criticized some offensive comments about health-care reform made by Richard Land, the top lobbyist for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

Land, speaking to the Christian Coalition of Florida during a Sept. 26 banquet, blasted President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, remarking, “I want to put it to you bluntly. What they are attempting to do in […] Read More

Charter Schools, Religion in Public Schools

The creative folks at the Archdiocese of Miami think they have found a new group of donors to bail out their financially strapped parishes and parochial schools: the taxpayers of Florida.

According to Florida Catholic, several Catholic schools in South Florida that closed due to declining enrollment or money problems reopened this fall as publicly funded charter schools.

“What […] Read More

Religion in Public Schools

Growing up in Ohio, I was pretty oblivious to the fact that students at my high school were anything but Christian. I just assumed that everyone was but me.

That’s because students met for Bible studies club, or some of my friends would talk about their church’s youth group. The students who weren’t Christian never really brought up religion at […] Read More

Marriage & Sexuality

It appears Cyprus is to the Middle East what Las Vegas is to the United States.

Well, sort of. Just as Sin City has become the destination for many American nuptials, Cyprus apparently has a booming wedding industry as well – but for a completely different reason.

According to today’s Washington Times, “In the Middle East, civil marriage doesn’t […] Read More

Religious Right Research

It is almost Halloween, so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised when media monsters lurch into the public square, trick or treating for publicity.

Yesterday, William Donohue appeared as a “Guest Voice” at the “On Faith” section of The Washington Post‘s Web site. (Really, Post folks, what were you thinking?)

Donohue, as you probably know, is the ever-dyspeptic president […] Read More

Freedom of Religion, Government-Sponsored Religion

Is church-state separation a liberal concept – or a conservative one?

In a recent column in the Lexington Herald Leader, Kentucky preacher Paul Prather says such definitions are malleable. They can even morph over time from one extreme to the other.

Prather, now pastor of Bethesda Church near Mt. Sterling, found himself caught in a culture-war crossfire a few […] Read More

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