“If you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them -- or against the people you hire -- on the basis of their religion,” explained then presidential-hopeful Barack Obama while discussing his proposed changes to the controversial “faith-based” initiative on the campaign trail in Ohio in 2008.
Some Kentucky legislators seem to have a thing about church-state relations.
If the Bluegrass State’s lawmakers aren’t busy pushing for Ten Commandments displays on public land or advocating for the Bible to be taught in public schools, they’re looking for other ways to give religion a little governmental help.
The legislature’s latest debacle involves an aggressive effort to keep a “Hell is real” billboard standing beside a major interstate highway.
My “Adopt-a-Liberal” cards have arrived!
I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but I spent some of my hard-earned cash on a set of 51 trading cards of famous liberals produced by Liberty Counsel, a Religious Right legal outfit associated with the the late Jerry Falwell’s empire. (The Counsel wants us to pick one or more of the subjects of these cards and pray for their conversion to religious and political rectitude – as the Falwellian Big Brothers define it.)
Every morning, I pass through Union Station, a majestic restored train station, on my way to work at Americans United.
Union Station contains a stop for the Washington, D.C., subway, the Metro. Lately, I’ve noticed huge posters plastered all over the station walls. They depict pictures of smiling (mostly minority) children demanding to know why Congress won’t give them “scholarships” to attend private schools.
Samuel Beckett, one of my favorite writers, had a lot to say about human nature and the inevitable repetition of inane life experiences. In Waiting for Godot, Krapp’s Last Tape and Endgame, the protagonists in Beckett’s most famous pieces are static creatures of habit; each repeats the same stale cycle of events, expecting a variation in circumstance. But invariably, each play ends almost exactly where it begins.
Yesterday I received an interesting call from a reporter in the Netherlands. He was seeking information on an American Religious Right outfit called the Christian Action Network (CAN).
CAN is not a major player in the world of the Religious Right, but I am familiar with the Forest, Va.-based group. It’s pretty low-rent, a point I made clear in my 2000 book Close Encounters with the Religious Right.
From now on, only “legal” religions will be officially recognized in North Miami Beach – at least, that will be the case if the city council’s multicultural committee has its way.
According to the Miami Herald, the committee recommended that the council recognize one main holiday for every religion in the form of an official proclamation. It’s part of the city’s effort to be “fair” and “inclusive.”
The U.S. Supreme Court this morning declined to hear a case from Washington state concerning a young woman who wanted to play religious music during a public school graduation ceremony.
Kathryn Nurre was a senior at Mill Creek’s Henry M. Jackson High School in 2006 when she and other members of a school wind ensemble sought permission to play “Ave Maria” during graduation.
Ten years ago, the Santa Fe (Texas) Independent School District was just another American town that loved its high school football team. On Friday evenings, students congregated in metal bleachers to cheer for their friends, parents attended with camcorders and warm coffee in gloved hands, and full recaps of exciting games were printed in the local papers.
TV evangelist Pat Robertson’s 80th birthday is on Monday, and to mark that momentous occasion, the Virginia legislature decided to pass a resolution lauding him a great American, visionary leader and all-around swell fellow.
The resolution is full of the “whereases” and flowery language that are common in this type of thing. It lauds Robertson’s creation of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Regent University, the American Center for Law and Justice and the Christian Coalition.