On Tuesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released the 2014 membership directory of the Council for National Policy (CNP), a conservative political pressure group. It’s an unusual breach for the group, whose thrice-yearly meetings are shrouded in secrecy.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) was born of good intentions: to protect the fundamental American value of religious freedom.
In the two decades since, however, many have misconstrued and exploited the law in ways that would result in harm to others. We can’t stand by and watch the corruption of the noble concept of freedom of religion and belief. RFRA should be restored to its original purpose so that the law, once again, can be a shield to protect religious freedom and not a sword to harm others.
Every few years, a political pundit comes along and proclaims that the Religious Right is dead or on the verge of dying. I started working here in 1987 and have heard it proclaimed many times over nearly three decades.
The latest theory goes like this: Donald Trump is such a divisive figure that he has split the Religious Right. The movement won’t recover from his candidacy.
Editor’s Note: Today the “Wall of Separation” is pleased to feature a guest post by Ed Beck, a First Amendment advocate and veteran of the War in Iraq.
Beck at Al-Taqaddum airbase in Iraq, 2005
Tomorrow is the birthday of an unsung hero of church-state separation: the Rev. John Leland.
Leland, born in Grafton, Mass., on May 14, 1754, became a nomadic Baptist preacher after abandoning the Congregationalism of his early years. He eventually moved to Virginia in 1775, where he quickly became a prominent religious and political figure.
A cross displayed in a public park in Pensacola, Fla., isn’t a problem because it’s “simply there” and it’s like a tree.
I know. It doesn’t make sense. Yet those arguments were made recently by the Pensacola News-Journal after the American Humanist Association (AHA) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed suit to remove a Latin cross from Bayview Park. The suit, which the groups filed on behalf of four residents, argues that the display of a sectarian symbol on public land violates the First Amendment.
This afternoon U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), along with more than 50 other members of the House of Representatives, introduced the Freedom of Religion Act (FOR).
This bill would push back against one of the most troubling proposals we’ve heard during this already long presidential campaign: banning Muslims from entering the United States. The proposed legislation, by contrast, would ensure that immigrants, refugees and international travelers will not be barred from entering the United States solely because of their religion.
Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, some political analysts are wondering whether Religious Right groups that bashed the thrice-married real estate magnate and reality TV star during the primary season will now rally to his cause in the general election.
So far it looks like plenty of them will.
Word broke late Friday night that Roy Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, may be on the verge of losing his job – again.
When we last left the Ayatollah of Alabama, he was throwing a hissy-fit over marriage equality. That mean old U.S. Supreme Court had issued a ruling that had the effect of making marriage equality the law in all 50 states. Moore, channeling his inner Jefferson Davis, decided to nullify the decision.
Target has announced that transgender people are welcome to use the bathroom of their choice in its stores, and some fundamentalist Christians are not pleased. The American Family Association (AFA) launched a petition and boycott in response to the chain’s announcement.