Archive for the ‘Religious Symbols on Public Property’ Category

Government-Sponsored Religion, Religious Symbols on Public Property

For years, we’ve heard the Religious Right and its allies assert that the cross is a secular symbol, not a religious one, in order to get around the Constitution and keep Christian displays on public land.

We’ve always thought that argument was pretty ridiculous, but Religious Right activists keep trying. Here’s their latest proposal:  a cross is not a religious […] Read More

Religious Symbols on Public Property

Earlier this week, we heard reports that someone had stolen the Latin cross that was the subject of the recent Supreme Court decision, Salazar v. Buono.

As you may recall, Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an opinion that likely paves the way for the religious symbol to remain in the Mojave National Preserve. He said that the cross was not […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, Religious Symbols on Public Property, The U.S. Supreme Court

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in a religious symbol dispute that is almost certain to leave a Latin cross standing in a public park in California.

The court was split 5-4, with Justice Anthony Kennedy writing the plurality opinion. Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Antonin Scalia backed the decision, while Justices John Paul […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, In the Courts, Religion in Public Life, Religious Symbols on Public Property

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday did us all a favor by declining to hear a case from Haskell County, Okla., concerning the display of the Ten Commandments on public property.

The case, Haskell County Board of Commissioners v. James Green, stems from 2004, when the county’s Board of Commissioners voted to allow a local pastor to erect […] Read More

Faith-Based Initiatives, Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion and politics, Religious Symbols on Public Property, Tax Funding of Religion

The one-year anniversary today of the unveiling of President Barack Obama’s version of the “faith-based” initiative has pushed the issue back into the spotlight. Unfortunately, the news is not good.

Speaking at yesterday’s National Prayer Breakfast, Obama boasted that he had “turned the faith-based initiative around.”

I was surprised to read that statement, because everything I see indicates that we’re […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, In the Courts, Religious Symbols on Public Property

Ah, Christmas! The time of year when our thoughts turn to decorated holiday trees, presents, eggnog and Albert Einstein.

Wait a minute – Albert Einstein?

Yep, the theoretical physicist and all-around super-genius has become an official part of the holiday season, at least in Arkansas. Einstein will appear in a Solstice display at the state capitol in Little Rock, thanks […] Read More

Religious Symbols on Public Property

It’s been a little while since we’ve had an update on the Mt. Soledad cross controversy, but today, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is finally hearing oral arguments to decide if this cross is a religious symbol or a generic and secular emblem of death.

It seems like it would be such an obvious answer – the cross […] Read More

Religion in Public Life, Religion in Public Schools, Religious Right Research, Religious Symbols on Public Property

Do you celebrate Christmas? If so, how do you celebrate it – as a religious or a secular holiday? Maybe you do a little bit of both. Perhaps you celebrate the Solstice. Maybe you celebrate another holiday or do nothing at all.

I’m glad we have the choice about what to do at the time of year. But I’m troubled […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, In the Courts, Religion in Public Life, Religion in Public Schools, Religious Symbols on Public Property

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and you know what that means. Yes, the malls will be crowded, but this time of year also means an escalation in the battles over how public schools and government deal with Christmas.

Some disputes have already erupted. In Chambersburg, Pa., the borough council voted unanimously to ban most displays from a public square […] 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

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