New York City’s newest judge has caused a bit of a stir, and it’s not for her approach to jurisprudence. Carolyn Walker-Diallo, who is Muslim, swore on a copy of the Quran to take a seat on Brooklyn’s 7th Municipal District Court. The New York Daily News reports that the backlash is so fierce that Diallo’s supporters now fear for her safety. Read more
A new poll reveals that the Religious Right was correct all along about the “war on Christmas.”
The far right invented the “war” years ago out of fears that the holiday was supposedly too secular or commercialized. And while larger numbers of Americans are celebrating Christmas without overt religious components, the vast majority still partake in some sort of sectarian activity as part of the holiday. Read more
The state of Tennessee used to have a law that banned members of the clergy from running for public office. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1978 rightfully declared this provision unconstitutional.
In the United States, pretty much all adults, with very few exceptions, have the right to run for public office. I wouldn’t have it any other way. If democracy means anything, it means the right to choose our own leaders. Disqualifying people from the ballot because of their race, gender or religious beliefs is un-American. Read more
A Kindred, N.D., couple claims their former church discriminated against them for their conservative views on gay rights. Ray and Joan Grabanski have sued Norman Evangelical Lutheran Church, its pastor and several congregants and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) over the alleged discrimination. Read more
It seems Satan and a self-proclaimed “Catholic warrior” have driven a nativity scene from the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee – at least for this year.
In response to controversy caused by seasonal displays in the capitol rotunda last year, including a display by the Satanic Temple that was vandalized, a group that had previously sponsored a crèche decided to discontinue its practice. Read more
Two months after Pearl Harbor, anti-Japanese sentiment hit a thundering peak in the U.S. To many, Japanese Americans had become enemy aliens whose presence represented a real threat to national security. As The New York Times reported last year, this was a mainstream argument at the time, not some fantastical fringe fiction.
I sometimes help out with logistics when Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn is traveling for a speech or a debate. I’m used to people asking me what hotel chains Barry prefers or what he likes to eat, but in September when Barry was debating Religious Right attorney Mat Staver at Liberty University, I got a question I hadn’t heard before: The folks at Liberty wanted to know if Barry or anyone traveling with him would be armed. The school had no objection to Barry or a member of his party carrying a concealed weapon, they just wanted to know beforehand. Read more