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Gingrich On Virginia Tech: Newt's Nasty Take On The Cause Of The Killings

Many Americans are still in shock over the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech. Families who lost loved ones are trying to deal with the unspeakable horror that unfolded last week.

These families need our support. The last thing they need to hear are idiotic ramblings by people like Newt Gingrich and other far-right figures offering their twisted analysis of what "really" caused the killings. Read more

The 'Centrist' Cannot Hold: Scalia's Claim Of Moderation On Church-State Disputes Is Laughable

Life often calls out in vain for some levity, a respite from so much that goes horribly wrong. So one might find it a welcome moment when recently Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia described himself as a "centrist" on church-state controversies.

In light of Scalia's lengthy court record, his description of himself as a centrist initially elicits a moment of light-heartedness, maybe a chuckle or two. But there are truly much more honest forums where one can find some levity, such as a Dan Savage column or an episode of "South Park." Read more

Meddling In Morality: High Court Abortion Decision Chips Away At Fundamental Rights, Says Justice Ginsburg

Today's ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to spark more controversy over the role of government in moral matters.

In a 5-4 decision, the justices upheld a federal ban on so-called "partial birth" abortions, undertaking the first rollback of reproductive rights at the high court. The majority opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart overturned several lower court rulings that protected a woman's constitutional right to choose. Read more

Traditional Values Outrage: Sheldon, Gohmert Exploit Va. Tech Murders In Lobby Against Hate Crimes Bill

I wrote previously about the Religious Right's opposition to the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 1592), a measure to aid in the prosecution of violent crimes perpetrated because of the victim's (perceived or actual) religion, race, color, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Read more

Doubting Thomas: President Bush Pushes Government Funding Of Religion On Jefferson's Birthday

President George W. Bush strayed not far from the White House today to rehash one of his favorite themes: Why we should all have to pay for someone else's religion.

Speaking before the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast at a Washington, D.C. hotel, Bush extolled the "faith-based" initiative, which entails directing millions of federal dollars to religious groups allegedly so they can provide social services. Read more

Texas Testimony: Government Aid Compromises Religion, Says Baylor Prof.

Is church-state separation a threat to religion?

Of course not! But many Religious Right activists would have you believe it is. So it's encouraging to hear leading scholars correct the record.

In an April 11 article published at, church-state expert Derek Davis discusses with Faith and Beliefs columnist Vern Barnet some of the confusion about religion and government. Read more

Holy Texts in Texas: Legislator Wants Public High Schools To Offer Bible Courses

Texas legislators will tomorrow take up a controversial bill requiring all public high schools to offer elective Bible courses. The debate over HB 1287, "Elective Courses in History and Literature of Old and New Testament Eras," comes in the wake of a much-publicized Time magazine cover story endorsing Bible courses in public schools. Read more

Utah Uprising: Beehive State Voters Likely To Sting ALEC Voucher Scheme

Back in 1988, Utah voters were given a chance to determine the fate of a tuition tax credit measure that appeared on the state ballot. To say they did not think much of the idea is an understatement. Voters trounced it, 70 percent to 30 percent.

Residents of the Beehive State may soon have the opportunity to beat back religious school aid again. It looks like a recently passed voucher bill is headed for the ballot. Read more