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.
A recent poll showed that, for the first time, most Americans support extending civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. The number stands at 53 percent but is expected to grow in the years to come. Younger people are much more likely to favor the idea.
Cut spending, cut spending, cut spending.
That’s House Speaker John Boehner’s mantra and the reason the House Republicans claim they were put in charge.
Yet despite this, Boehner and his friends are continuing to use taxpayer dollars to pick up the tab for a House chaplain. Boehner has nominated the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, a Jesuit priest and theology teacher at a Catholic school in Portland, Ore., to fill the position.
I’ve had occasion to hear followers of the Tea Party speak at Religious Right gatherings. To put it mildly, they seem to be very perturbed over government spending. They claim they want lower taxes, less spending and smaller government.
So what are they doing in Pennsylvania demanding that the state government create a massive new welfare program for religious and other private schools?