The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is known for lots of things – "Sesame Street," Barney the purple dinosaur, "The Newshour," insightful documentaries, etc.
One thing PBS has not been associated with is promoting religion. PBS, of course, can air documentaries and other programs about religion, its history and its effect on culture. But proselytization and indoctrination should be verboten in a publicly funded institution that aspires to serve the public interest. Read more
I grew up in Ohio in late '80s through the '90s. My parents, sisters and I were one of the few South Asian families in town, and I was one of only two Hindu students in my graduating class of nearly 350 students.
Fortunately for me, it mattered little that I was Hindu and most of my classmates were Christian. I can't really remember any time the school brought in religion -- a rarity I appreciated living so close to the Bible belt.
But had I been in sixth grade in 1962 rather than 1992, things might have been different. Read more
Yesterday, I took the day off to attend a special end-of-the-year event at my son's school: He and other members of his fifth-grade class wrote and illustrated stories, which they bound in books and read aloud to visiting parents.
As I surveyed the classroom full of eager students and proud parents, I couldn't help but be struck by the diversity. All races were represented, and several kids mentioned being born in other countries. Read more
A public school in Washington state has decided to stop school volunteers from proselytizing while on campus.
It's an overdue policy -- and the subject of one of my blogs from months ago. We'd like to commend officials at the Marysville School District for responding to complaints from concerned parents and taking this step in the right direction. Read more
Imagine this: You've been having a really rough day at work, finding it hard to focus on anything other than your impending doctor's appointment. When 5:00 rolls around, you take a deep breath, hop in your car and start towards his office while futzing with your iPod looking for your favorite Springsteen song. Sweaty palms, you can't stop thinking about how apprehensive you are -- you've never been one for needles.
The job of a public school teacher is to instruct young people in certain subjects – perhaps math, science, history or English. The job of a religious leader is to offer information about theology and how to interact with God. There should be no overlap.
Yet, occasionally, a teacher will get it into his or head to start preaching in the classroom. Whenever this happens, controversy quickly follows. Read more
Let's play a game — it's called Preacher or Politician?
Here are the rules: Read the two paragraphs below and decide for yourself whether they are quotes from a preacher or quotes from a politician. Scroll slowly and don't cheat!
"Reignite in people an understanding that the heart of your life is subordination to God! The heart of your life is seeking God's will, and that all of us are weak and vulnerable, all of us make mistakes, but that all are welcomed by a loving God. Read more
I'm always surprised when people in the heartland of America – conservative folks who claim to love their country and its institutions – display contempt for the rule of law.
Consider the case of Haskell County, Okla. A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that an eight-foot-high Ten Commandments monument erected in front of the courthouse in 2004 must come down. The monument, the court declared, violates the separation of church and state. Read more
The Rev. Wiley Drake is on the warpath again -- and this time, he has really gone too far.
As you may recall, Drake is the pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif. He urged supporters to offer "imprecatory prayers" (curses) against Americans United and specific staff members in August 2007. Read more