You may have noticed yesterday that American United’s attorneys succeeded in their efforts to stop a public school in Texas from mandating official prayers as part of graduation.
If you’re a regular reader of “The Wall of Separation,” you know that we’ve written several posts on the so-called “Ark Park” planned for Grant County, Ky.
State officials have agreed to give more than $40 million in various forms of tax breaks and incentives to a group of Christian fundamentalist entrepreneurs who want to build a type of theme park centered around a replica of Noah’s Ark. Among the backers is Answers in Genesis, a prominent creationist ministry run by Ken Ham.
I have what the Religious Right calls a “traditional family.” My wife and I have been married for nearly 20 years and have two children. The four of us live (along with two cats) in a house in the suburbs. From a demographic point of view, we couldn’t be less interesting.
But I’m keenly aware that not all families are like mine – and it doesn’t take more than a walk around my neighborhood to prove that.
Here’s a quick follow-up on the situation in Bastrop, La.
By Nate Hennagin
Today, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) will try again to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (H.R. 1540) that would create a $10 million private school voucher program for military dependent children with special education needs. This time he is offering the bill on the House floor. Hunter introduced a nearly identical amendment during the markup of the bill just two weeks ago, which was voted down 26-34.
Let’s say you had a relative who fought and died in World War II and who was an atheist (or a Jew or a Hindu). Let’s say the government told you it was going to honor your relative’s sacrifice to our nation with a 43-foot cross atop a mountain in San Diego.
Is this acceptable to you – a cross honoring your deceased, non-Christian veteran?
It’s not to a lot of people. Yet that’s exactly what’s going on at Mt. Soledad in California.
Officials with the Juvenile Justice Department in Cameron County, Texas, appear to be confused about the proper relationship between religion and government.
A new youth outreach center has opened in Harlingen, and for some reason, officials saw fit to decorate it with slogans from a book penned by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology. Worse yet, the department’s director is under the impression that these slogans will help turn troubled young people into good Christians.
The students and administrators at Bastrop High School have spoken: they clearly don’t care about the Constitution, following the law or respecting the religious freedom rights of those with different belief systems.
I love reading history (although unlike “Christian nation” propagandist David Barton, I don’t believe this habit qualifies me as a historian). Recently I’ve been enjoying Phillip Jenkins’ Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years.
Working for Americans United, I sometimes hear about public school officials who have a very poor understanding of the Constitution.
But no matter how many times I hear these stories, it still always shocks me that there are educators out there who refuse to respect the rights of all students, not just the majority.
That’s what’s happening in Bastrop, La., right now. A graduating senior who is an atheist has asked his school to discontinue prayers at commencement.