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.
Members of the Livingston Parish School Board in Louisiana may be on the verge of making a huge mistake – one that could cost their community a lot of money.
During a recent meeting, several board members went off on a tangent about teaching creationism. During this public session, they openly discussed their desire to bring religion into the classroom. It was not a wise move.
Alabama “Commandments Judge” Roy Moore doesn’t let too much time go by before he cries out for some more attention.
Yesterday, he was quoted in a Birmingham News blog, in which he offered another anti-church-state separation rant. The blog was about a letter Americans United sent to an Alabama school board opposing official prayers before meetings.
If someone had told me 20 years ago that I would one day be giving a lecture at the Rutherford Institute (TRI), I would have scoffed.
“The Rutherford Institute!” I probably would have snorted. “They don’t support church-state separation! Why would I want to talk to them?”
Yet there I was yesterday in Charlottesville, Va., talking to a crowd of Rutherford interns and residents of the community (including three Americans United members). In fact, this was the third summer running that I’ve spoken at TRI.
Earlier this year, we reported on preliminary survey results that showed most Texans (72 percent) did not want the Religious-Right leaning Texas State Board of Education to determine public school curriculum.
They wanted teachers and scholars to write curriculum standards, not an elected board of ideologues pushing an agenda.
Let’s say your boss holds a prayer meeting every morning at 10. Let’s say you’re not comfortable attending. At the next prayer meeting, your boss says, “Anyone who doesn’t like this can go stand in the hall while the rest of us pray.”
What are the chances you’ll walk into the hall? Isn’t it more likely you’ll be worried about getting on the bad side of your boss? Won’t you fret over your next promotion or raise – or even keeping your job in this troubling economy?
Religious Right groups regularly insist that all devout Americans, especially Christians, must be against the separation of church and state.
As usual, they’re completely off the mark. In fact, many people of faith are among the strongest supporters of church-state separation. And we have a new piece of evidence.
Earlier this week, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a bill that would have created civil unions in the state.
In her veto message, Lingle talked about how she agonized over the decision. She said she has always opposed extending marriage rights to same-sex couples and concluded that this bill was essentially marriage under another guise.
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 unusual day.
The Missouri Senate has spoken, and for the third year in a row, it has refused to advance a constitutional amendment permitting government-sponsored religious activities.
Religious Right activists, who lobbied hard for the measure, are none too happy about losing, again –and have pinned the blame on Americans United and our allies.
We’re happy to accept this blame. AU worked hard to derail this dangerous resolution.