The first comprehensive evaluation of President George W. Bush's global HIV/AIDS effort was released late last month. The report, which is a congressionally mandated review of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), was conducted by teams of independent medical professionals on behalf of the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. The report said the effort was a "promising start," but was very critical of the Administration's focus on abstinence-until-marriage programs. Read more
Under this White House, the DOJ has overhauled its Civil Rights Division to focus large amounts of attention on helping "faith-based" organizations receive grants and trolling the land looking for supposed discrimination against evangelical Christians. Read more
April 13 is Thomas Jefferson's birthday. Americans United encourages people to mark the occasion by standing up for Jefferson's views on religious liberty.
This is important because
Religious Right groups often
argue that the Sage of Monticello
agreed with them on the relationship between religion and government.
Anyone who is familiar with Jefferson's
writings knows why such claims are absurd. If he were alive today, he would rebuke the Religious Right, not join them. Read more
Former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt is quickly becoming the Religious Right's latest phony martyr.
Klingenschmitt claims he was drummed out of the Navy because he wanted to pray in the name of Jesus. In fact, he got tossed out for being insubordinate. Far from being a hero and a role model, Klingenschmitt is exactly what the military does not need: an officer who would not do what was expected of him. Read more
The Religious Right is up in arms about a recently introduced hate-crimes bill by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.)
The Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition is swinging wildly as usual, dubbing the measure the "Pro-Homosexual/Drag Queen 'Hate Crime' Bill". Read more
Americans United has been tracking the activities of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) since the group's inception in 1993.
Founded by TV preachers and other extreme right-wingers to push the Religious Right's agenda in the courts, the ADF was spawned by James Dobson, D. James Kennedy and Donald Wildmon, among others.
Originally, the group was conceived as a funding pool. The ADF would collect money and dole it out to Religious Right litigators like Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice. Read more
For years now, Religious Right outfits have called for greater public funding of sectarian social services and schooling. And they've gotten loads of support from President George W. Bush and like-minded lawmakers nationwide. Read more
Yesterday's "Wall of Separation" noted that James Dobson of Focus on the Family had questioned the religious commitment of former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson. Dobson charged that Thompson, a Tennessee Republican who is thinking of running for president, isn't really a Christian – even though Thompson belongs to the ultra-conservative Church of Christ. Read more
Religious Right leaders often try to maintain a faÃƒÂ§ade of tolerance. They don't want to take over the government and force everyone to comply with their religious beliefs, they say; they just want a place at the table. They aren't bigoted toward non-Christians, gays and uppity women who insist on personal freedom; they just happen to love the sinner but hate the sin.
But on a fairly regular basis the real face of the Religious Right pops out. Read more
A bipartisan group of U.S. House members offered a simple message to the American people today: "Pray, or God will lift his caring hand from the great nation."
Over three dozen representatives joined U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol today to urge Americans to pray for the U.S. and its leaders for at least five minutes each week. Forbes, who is also the leader of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, said he hopes "God will hear our prayers and heal our land." Read more