It's only a week away from Thanksgiving; the trees have all turned from green to vibrant shades of reds, yellows and browns and a crisp chill in the air puts me on pins and needles as I wait for the season's first snow. As we reach mid November, the end of the calendar year always sneaks up on me -- Christmas is right around the corner and that means it'll be New Year's Eve before we know it.
It's no secret that I'm not a fan of the Religious Right. Through my work at Americans United, I've opposed this movement for 22 years and have written three books challenging the Religious Right's perspective.
I don't believe that everyone who holds Religious Right views is a bad person. But I would be remiss in my duties if I failed to point out that, increasingly, many in the Religious Right are telling big, fat, honking lies. This is a shame, because it makes it impossible to have a civil exchange of views in the public arena.
As we start off this week, the debate over reproductive rights restrictions in the U.S. House's proposed health-care legislation continues to rage.
It's not often that Massachusetts falls under Americans United's microscope. But this week, the Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) has brought the New England state to our attention.
The group, a state affiliate of James Dobson's Focus on the Family, has succeeded in finding bipartisan sponsors for legislation that will "ensure the existing free speech rights of religious students" while they are in school.
It’s been a busy few weeks in the field department as we prepared for AU’s annual meeting that took place November 8-10, in Washington, DC. I would like to thank our wonderful chapter leaders and activists who traveled to DC for the events.
The annual meeting began with a wonderful grassroots training session on: “Creating and Sustaining Chapters that Work: 10 Steps to Successful Leadership Development.” The workshops were led by trainer Hans Johnson, of Progressive Victory. Hans used a travel scenario to outline the key functions of a chapter, basic “rules of the road” for organizing, and how to navigate challenging situations to get to your final destination.
When I picked up my Washington Post at the breakfast table this morning, the first thing I saw was a blaring headline reading, "Catholic Church gives D.C. ultimatum." All I could think was, "This ought to be good."
When it comes to church-state separation, South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer just doesn't have a clue.
That's never been more apparent than it was yesterday. After a federal judge ruled against a legislature-mandated "Christian" license plate, Bauer carried on in a way that made me think he not only failed to read the court's opinion, but that he also doesn't understand the principle of basic fairness.
When political pundits talk about the power of religious groups to affect public policy in Washington, most tend to focus on the Religious Right.
Indeed, during the presidency of George W. Bush, Religious Right groups flexed a lot of political muscle and won numerous victories on Capitol Hill.
But the Religious Right has an Achilles' heel: Its leaders and activists are so closely identified with the Republican Party that when Democrats are in charge, these groups have a much more difficult time advancing their agenda.
In his poem "Mending Wall," poet Robert Frost wrote, "Before I built a wall I'd ask to know what I was walling in or walling out."
Today, on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, that's a point worth pondering. There are good walls and bad ones.
Last night during dinner, my daughter Claire mentioned that some of her friends who attend another high school are preparing for a gang of protesters to descend on their school. Members of Westboro Baptist Church are coming to town!
You've probably heard of this crew. Westboro Baptist and its pastor, Fred Phelps, are best known for picketing at the funerals of fallen military personnel. Their theology is somewhat incoherent, but the Westboro-ites seem to believe that the war in Iraq is God's punishment on the nation for tolerating gay people.