For years, Americans United has battled with Religious Right pseudo-historians about whether the United States was founded to be a "Christian nation." Religious Right activists have cited quotes by Founding Fathers that AU claims are either wrenched from context or fabricated. AU has argued that if our nation was meant to be officially Christian, the Constitution would say that. Read more
In 1996, I wrote a book titled The Most Dangerous Man in America?: Pat Robertson and the Rise of the Christian Coalition.
At that time, the Christian Coalition was going great guns. Led by the young and media-savvy Ralph Reed, the organization claimed two million members and would routinely bring 4,000 people to Washington for meetings. Read more
A new survey of moderate evangelical leaders suggests they see no room for partisan politics in their pulpits. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) last month asked the CEOs from 60 evangelical churches, universities and affiliated organizations if their "churches advise parishioners who to vote for."
The answer: "No!" (Most respondents, the article says, actually used an exclamation mark.) Read more
For years we've heard Religious Right leaders and activists claim that all they want is a place at the table. They merely want the right to put their ideas out there and allow them to be debated in the public arena.
Nonsense. They've had that right for years. What these groups want is the right to run our lives and use the power of government to enforce their pet theological notions and transform their cramped interpretation of the Bible into law. Read more
Although my beloved home state of Kentucky is perhaps best known for its bourbon, burley and basketball teams, there are also a lot Baptists down there. Some of them support church-state separation; some of them don't.
On Monday, some of the ones who don't won a round in a lawsuit involving public funding of religion. A federal district court ruled that folks challenging tax aid to the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children (KBHC) had no "standing" to bring their case into court. Read more
TV preacher Pat Robertson's top lawyer, Jay Sekulow, is all atwitter because a minority religious group wants equal treatment from a local government in Utah. The group, called Summum, wants to erect a monument bearing its "Seven Aphorisms" near a Ten Commandments display in a local park. Read more
You have to give the creationists credit: When the courts knock down one of their schemes for sneaking the Book of Genesis into the public schools, they come right back with another one. You might say their strategies evolve.
Here's a case in point: Louisiana has seen numerous attempts to bring creationism into public schools. It was a Louisiana law that mandated "balanced treatment" between evolution and creationism that the Supreme Court struck down in 1987's Edwards v. Aguillard. Read more
Milwaukee's school voucher program has been in the news a lot lately. A recent study by the University of Arkansas showed voucher students fare no better academically than their peers in the city's "failing" public schools. (Voucher students in Catholic schools, in particular, perform dismally in mathematics.) Read more