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House Of Prayer: Members Of Congress Exalt Religion, Undercut Constitution

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

Partisan Pursuit: TV Preacher's 'Religious Freedom' Group Shores Up Support For Bush Administration

It's an adage that not everything is as it seems. And it has been pointed out before that "illusion is the first of all pleasures."

Look at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ); it's a fine example of an entity aping a nonprofit group dedicated to religious freedom. The organization was founded years ago by televangelist Pat Robertson, supposedly to counter the work of the American Civil Liberties Union. Read more

Special Rights?: Anti-Gay Preacher Says White House Made Him 'Faith-Based' Envoy

A Washington state pastor known for his strident anti-gay rhetoric is claiming he was appointed a "Special Envoy for Adoptions, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief" by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives – an assertion the White House now denies. Read more

The Religious Right's Pyrrhic Victory: Marriage-Counseling Outfit Tosses Out Bible To Get Public Funds

With the film "300" riding a wave of popularity, ancient warfare is now all the rage. But the Battle of Thermopylae is not the only historical conflict that we ought to know about.

In 279 BC, King Pyrrhus of Epirus defeated the Romans at Asculum. Pyrrhus' victory was bittersweet, however, because of the devastating loss of so many men. Having fewer troops to throw into combat than his opponents, he mourned that his win was effectively a loss. Read more

Biology Blunder: Oregon Teacher's Preposterous Preaching Results In Termination

After only eight days on the job, an Oregon high school biology teacher has been fired for promoting religion as part of the curriculum.

The Sisters School District Board hired Kris Helphinstine to teach evolutionary biology, but he quickly departed from the accepted curriculum. In a supposed attempt to "give accurate information" and get kids thinking, Helphinstine distributed an essay from Answers in Genesis, a fundamentalist Christian ministry that wants "young-Earth creationism" taught in public school science classes. Read more

Holy Hypocrite!: TV Preacher Pat Robertson Worries About Religious Takeover Of U.S. Government

TV preacher Pat Robertson is worried about a Muslim takeover of the United States.

Such a thing would seem remote, at best. While hard numbers are difficult to come by, most demographers say there are about 3 million Muslims in America. In a country of 300 million, they haven't made a huge dent.

But last year, the first Muslim was elected to Congress, and Muslims have been elected to a few state and local offices as well. Recently, a Muslim group announced plans to register more Muslims to vote and encourage civic activity. All of this has Robertson worried. Read more

Prayerful Forum: Pa. City Council Comes Up With Plan To Keep On Praying

Localities nationwide offer people all kinds of places to pray, such as public parks, sidewalks and, of course, plenty of houses of worship.

So why do so many local governmental officials feel compelled to use their public meetings for prayer? Often these prayer setups are simply used to suck up to constituents; in other cases, it's a matter of officials using their public offices to do a little bit of proselytizing for their personal faiths. Read more

Falwell Foolishness: Have Jefferson And Madison Joined The Moral Majority?

The Religious Right crusade to recruit Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other Founders of our nation into the theocratic camp is ludicrous, but it just won't stop.

Jerry Falwell chose today, the occasion of Madison's birthday, to launch the latest salvo. In his "Falwell Confidential" email, the tiresome TV preacher cites – of all things – religious language in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom as some sort of proof that Jefferson and Madison are on the same side with the Religious Right. Read more