To some, maybe it's just a sculpture of a middle-aged bearded man in shepherd's clothing holding a baby and playing with children.
To everyone else, including the sculptor, it's Jesus Christ.
Religious Right-driven skirmishes over the role of religion in public life continue to roil communities around California.
In the latest battle, the Lompoc City Council voted 4-1 this week to post "In God We Trust" at two spots in City Hall. According to the Santa Maria Times, the religious affirmation will be displayed on the speaker's podium and on a lobby wall outside Council chambers. Read more
Hernando County, Fla., officials saw no problem with allocating $5,000 in tax money to promote an event called the "Hernando Freedom Festival" in July. Local government officials are often eager to support events that might bring in tourist dollars, and this one attracted 15,000 people. Read more
Scientists in Texas are speaking up, hopefully in time to protect the state's science education from the Religious Right.
The Texas Board of Education is currently considering a new science curriculum. Heading up the board is Don McLeroy (R-Bryan), a creationist who opposes an academic working group's suggestion to remove the current requirement that "strengths and weakness" of all scientific theories be taught in biology classes. Read more
The recent Bush administration report on inner-city education shamelessly advocates massive public funding for religious schools. In addition to voucher subsidies, tax credits and something called "backpack" scholarships (another kind of voucher), it promotes "faith-based charter schools." Read more
Back in the fall of 2007, I attended the Family Research Council's "Values Voter Summit." The Republican presidential field was quite crowded then, and all of the major contenders showed up to seek the Religious Right's support.
Some were received with more enthusiasm than others. Mike Huckabee was a big hit, while Fred Thompson fizzled. The reaction to U.S. Sen. John McCain was polite but restrained. Read more
[caption id="attachment_1027" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Archbishop Wuerl and Cardinal Foley after the Red Mass at St. Matthew's Cathedral, Washington, D.C., October 5, 2008. Photo taken from Flickr Creative Commons by II Primo Uomo"][/caption]
Today is the first Monday in October—the day when the U.S. Supreme Court is back in session for a new term. Read more
Thanks to my two children, I've become quite the expert on children's literature. The Harry Potter books were fun, and I really enjoyed the sly humor and wordplay of Lemony Snicket's "Series of Unfortunate Events." Read more