California high school teacher Bradley Johnson had a funny way of instructing students about math. In his Poway Unified School District classroom, he posted two huge banners proclaiming his religious sentiments.
I’m often asked what the Religious Right is up to these days. Some people, noting the death of the Rev. Jerry Falwell in 2007 and the aging of leaders like Pat Robertson and Donald Wildmon, assume the movement is slowing down.
Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
Religious Right groups and their allies in the Tea Party are giddy from their electoral successes in 2010. They’re gearing up for another round in 2012. Much of what is happening is occurring below the radar and doesn’t necessarily capture headlines. But it’s very real.
As everyone knows, yesterday was the 10-year anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Like most adults, I can remember exactly where I was that morning: I was driving to my doctor’s office for a physical exam, and I had the radio on. The first reports were confused; an airplane had hit the World Trade Center, and some thought perhaps it was an accident.
At the doctor’s office, we heard that the Pentagon had also been hit. We now knew that this was no accident. Our nation was under attack.
As they say, all good things must come to end.
I’m sad to report that today is my last day at Americans United. I’m heading on to a new communications position at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office, where I promise to keep up the good fight.
But before I go, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on my past three-plus years here at AU. It has been a lot of fun. I’ve met great people who I am going to miss, and I have had some very interesting experiences that I’ll always remember.
Here are the top five:
The 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is fast approaching, giving the Religious Right just a few more days to rant and rave about the lack of official prayers at the commemoration sponsored by New York City.
Good news from Macon County, N.C.!
A public school system there has agreed that it made a mistake in allowing a controversial preacher to speak at Nantahala School’s graduation ceremony in June.
At the commencement, the Rev. Daniel “Cowboy” Stewart, pastor of a small Baptist church in Robbinsville, delivered a sermon to the nine graduating seniors. He brought a volunteer on stage, bound the person with a rope and then placed a bag over the volunteer’s head. The demonstration served to warn students about the machinations of Satan and included references to the Bible.
The situation involving school vouchers in Douglas County, Colo., is a real disgrace.
The county school board was hijacked by a bloc of right-wing activists. They immediately began looking for ways to privatize public services. Someone got the bright idea that public schools would be a good place to start, and the board was off to the races.
Occasionally something I write for Church & State or on this blog will spur a reader to mail me a letter or send me an email thoughtfully pointing out to me why I’m all wet.
This happened a few years ago after I wrote an article about efforts by creationists to infiltrate public schools. A gentleman in Nebraska sent me a booklet that asserted that not only is the Earth young (a mere 6,000 years), it is also the center of the universe.
It’s certainly a whole different world now that we have Facebook, isn’t it?
Without the social networking site, Florida public school teacher Jerry Buell may have continued using his classroom as a “mission field” to spread his religious beliefs – without anyone being the wiser.
But a few weeks ago, the social studies teacher made national headlines after posting some hateful anti-gay remarks on his Wall.
Guess what, folks? Muslims have the right to build houses of worship in America!
Shocking, isn’t it?
Apparently it is to some people in Murfreesboro, Tenn. They’ve been in state court trying to stop some Muslims from expanding a mosque there.
Why? Well, they just don’t much like Muslims.