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

Holy Texts in Texas: Legislator Wants Public High Schools To Offer Bible Courses

Texas legislators will tomorrow take up a controversial bill requiring all public high schools to offer elective Bible courses. The debate over HB 1287, "Elective Courses in History and Literature of Old and New Testament Eras," comes in the wake of a much-publicized Time magazine cover story endorsing Bible courses in public schools. Read more

Utah Uprising: Beehive State Voters Likely To Sting ALEC Voucher Scheme

Back in 1988, Utah voters were given a chance to determine the fate of a tuition tax credit measure that appeared on the state ballot. To say they did not think much of the idea is an understatement. Voters trounced it, 70 percent to 30 percent.

Residents of the Beehive State may soon have the opportunity to beat back religious school aid again. It looks like a recently passed voucher bill is headed for the ballot. Read more

Winning By Degrees: Pat Robertson's Ambitious Goals For Regent University

TV preacher Pat Robertson has long had an interest in changing social policy in America.

Robertson wants the law to reflect his personal religious views. At first, he tried to bring this about by running for president. After his failed bid in 1988 to capture the Republican Party nomination, Robertson created the Christian Coalition to influence government.

The Christian Coalition is on the wane these days, but another Robertson project is quietly helping the Virginia Beach televangelist gain the power and control he lusts for – Regent University. Read more

Abstinence Absolutists: Report Says Religious Pressure Hurts Overseas AIDS Prevention

The first comprehensive evaluation of President George W. Bush's global HIV/AIDS effort was released late last month. The report, which is a congressionally mandated review of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), was conducted by teams of independent medical professionals on behalf of the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. The report said the effort was a "promising start," but was very critical of the Administration's focus on abstinence-until-marriage programs. Read more