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Return To Sender: Church-Run Post Office Can't Spread Religious Message, Court Rules

"Faith-based" public services began percolating throughout the government after President George Bush declared his support for that agenda in 2001. Since then, we've seen faith-based marriage counseling, faith-based inmate rehabilitation and faith-based sex education in the schools.

What's next, you may ask — faith-based postal services? No way. That's just too far-fetched. Read more

Moyers On God And Elections: Journalist Celebrates Treasure Of Secular Democracy

In a recent interview with The Christian Century, renowned journalist Bill Moyers took up the contentious question of religion and politics.

When asked what role religion should play in public life, Moyers responded with a question of his own. "Whose religion?" he asked. "And who is going to decide?" he pressed, after listing only a few of the many religions represented in the United States.

"The religion of one," Moyers responded, "seems madness to another." Read more

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 Kansascity.com, church-state expert Derek Davis discusses with Faith and Beliefs columnist Vern Barnet some of the confusion about religion and government. Read more

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