Joseph L. Conn / All Posts

Joseph L. Conn is the Director of Communications of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Church Politicking, Religion and politics

Dove World Outreach Center likes being in the news media. The Gainesville, Fla., congregation is infamous for its vicious attacks on Muslims, gay people and others who fail to see things through a narrow fundamentalist Christian lens.

In its latest publicity stunt, church officials have announced plans to burn a Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 […] Read More

Religion in Public Schools

Should churches make decisions about the courses taught in local public schools?

Most Americans would probably say no. But that’s exactly what seems to be happening in the Chino Valley (Calif.) School District.

According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the school board there  has approved a Bible class for high school students after a lobbying campaign by Calvary […] Read More

American Family Association, Charles Colson, Marriage & Sexuality, Pat Robertson, Religious Right Research

Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling against California’s Proposition 8 spurred the predictable round of incendiary rhetoric from the Religious Right. Chuck Colson said it could mean Armageddon for religious liberty, TV preacher Pat Robertson said gay people want to destroy the church and destroy marriage and the American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon demanded that the U.S. House impeach […] Read More

Church Politicking

I like to see what Religious Right groups are up to, so I’m on a lot of their e-mail lists. It’s often angry, intolerant and misguided stuff, but the fund-raising letter I got today from Newt Gingrich stands out.

Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is currying favor with the Religious Right these days, and he […] Read More

Church Politicking

It’s not every day that I find myself in agreement with a Liberty University graduate on the proper relationship between religion and government.

OK. It’s probably not even every decade – or maybe even every century. Students at Jerry Falwell Jr.’s school tend to fall on the other end of the theocratic spectrum from me.

Today, however, is a most […] Read More

Religious School Vouchers

New York taxpayers may soon be footing an $18 million annual bill to pay for rabbinical training.

Yes, you read that right.

According to the New York Post, elected officials in the Empire State have struck a backroom deal to expand the Tuition Assistance Program to pick up the tab for 3,660 students at a few dozen rabbinical schools […] Read More

Faith-Based Initiatives

If Sylvia Spencer took a job at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, no one would ask her what her religious beliefs are. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of Americans would be horrified to think that such a consideration could affect her employment prospects for a position providing publicly funded social services.

HHS officials should […] Read More

Religion and politics, Religious Right Research

Should religion be politicized? Polls show that the vast majority of Americans don’t think so.

Unfortunately, an aggressive contingent of Religious Right activists disagrees.

In a recent issue of the Pentecostal magazine Charisma, charismatic religious leaders offered their vision of life for the church in 2020. Some had “visions” that would be a nightmare for the rest of […] Read More

Religion in Public Schools

“God Hates Showoffs.”

That was the message on a sign in the crowd at yesterday’s meeting of the Exeter Union (Calif.) High School District.

According to a report in the Visalia Times-Delta, students also held up a second sign that read, “God Says No Prayer.”

The students in a provocative way were asking school trustees to vote against including […] Read More

Church Politicking

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s attempt to inject sectarian bias into the U.S. military has been shot down, at least for now.

Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and Religious Right favorite, wanted to add language to the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act giving military chaplains the right to push their personal beliefs at events where personnel from many faiths (and none) […] Read More

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