Bryan Fischer has quite a reputation for incendiary remarks.
Religious Right legal groups are all excited over a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights dealing with crucifix displays in public schools in Italy.
The European high court, ruling 15-2, overturned a lower court decision and declared that the crucifixes can stay. They don’t oppress anyone’s rights, the court said, and European nations are entitled to some latitude in dealing with topics such as this.
The Washington Post featured a scary article today about Charles Colson, the Nixon-era hatchet-man turned Religious Right commanding general.
Colson, the newspaper says, is quietly training a cadre of fundamentalist true believers who will take their “biblical worldview” into every area of life, including American politics.
Politicizing churches is a bad idea for lots of reasons. Not only it is illegal for non-profit organizations to endorse or oppose candidates, it also can divide congregations and lead to other types of problems.
Exhibit A is Cornerstone World Outreach, a church in Sioux City, Iowa. Last year, Cornerstone Pastor Cary K. Gordon decided to use his house of worship to launch an effort to recall three Iowa Supreme Court justices. Gordon was angry that the three, who faced retention elections, had voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
Philadelphia is home to the National Constitution Center, and it’s clear that members of the Philadelphia City Council ought to hop on down there and give our nation’s governing document a close read.
By Nate Hennagin
Here is just a sampling of what has been going on in the states recently:
A few months ago, I blogged about a Colorado public school district that was considering a voucher scheme that would allow some students to attend religious and other private schools.
I explained then that vouchers are a bad idea all around. Tuition subsidies for religious schools undermine church-state separation, hurt the public schools and have not improved student performance in places where they’ve been tried.
We’ve criticized former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum on this blog before for his poor understanding of church-state separation.
Santorum believes President John F. Kennedy was wrong when, in a famous 1960 speech, Kennedy vowed to be the president of all people and make his policy decisions not on the basis of what his Roman Catholic faith demanded but on the grounds of what was good for the country.
The influx of “Tea Party” conservatives who flooded the U.S. Congress and many state legislatures earlier this year promised to focus on jobs and the economy. So why are getting a relentless barrage of bills on social issues?
Consider Missouri. The state House of Representatives there recently passed a so-called “Religious Freedom Amendment” that Religious Right groups think is wonderful. Everyone else ought to be terrified.
The Orange County AU chapter’s March event features Judge Jim Gray. He will be speaking on: "Separation of Church & State: The Most Important War and Peace Issue of the 21st Century." He has noted that some consider this a controversial topic because they see it as an attack on religion. In response he says: “I simply do not agree with that assessment. I view this separation as being one of the most important war-and-peace issues of the 21st century. Of course there will be some exceptions, but in general governments that maintain the separation of church and state will be far less likely to be involved in war than those that do not. For example, we all should be concerned today about the governments of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and others where religion plays a large part in the affairs of government.” Given the events of recent weeks this will be very timely.