Yesterday's "Wall of Separation" noted that James Dobson of Focus on the Family had questioned the religious commitment of former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson. Dobson charged that Thompson, a Tennessee Republican who is thinking of running for president, isn't really a Christian – even though Thompson belongs to the ultra-conservative Church of Christ. Read more
Religious Right leaders often try to maintain a faÃƒÂ§ade of tolerance. They don't want to take over the government and force everyone to comply with their religious beliefs, they say; they just want a place at the table. They aren't bigoted toward non-Christians, gays and uppity women who insist on personal freedom; they just happen to love the sinner but hate the sin.
But on a fairly regular basis the real face of the Religious Right pops out. Read more
A bipartisan group of U.S. House members offered a simple message to the American people today: "Pray, or God will lift his caring hand from the great nation."
Over three dozen representatives joined U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol today to urge Americans to pray for the U.S. and its leaders for at least five minutes each week. Forbes, who is also the leader of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, said he hopes "God will hear our prayers and heal our land." Read more
It's an adage that not everything is as it seems. And it has been pointed out before that "illusion is the first of all pleasures."
Look at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ); it's a fine example of an entity aping a nonprofit group dedicated to religious freedom. The organization was founded years ago by televangelist Pat Robertson, supposedly to counter the work of the American Civil Liberties Union. Read more
A Washington state pastor known for his strident anti-gay rhetoric is claiming he was appointed a "Special Envoy for Adoptions, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief" by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives – an assertion the White House now denies. Read more
With the film "300" riding a wave of popularity, ancient warfare is now all the rage. But the Battle of Thermopylae is not the only historical conflict that we ought to know about.
In 279 BC, King Pyrrhus of Epirus defeated the Romans at Asculum. Pyrrhus' victory was bittersweet, however, because of the devastating loss of so many men. Having fewer troops to throw into combat than his opponents, he mourned that his win was effectively a loss. Read more
After only eight days on the job, an Oregon high school biology teacher has been fired for promoting religion as part of the curriculum.
The Sisters School District Board hired Kris Helphinstine to teach evolutionary biology, but he quickly departed from the accepted curriculum. In a supposed attempt to "give accurate information" and get kids thinking, Helphinstine distributed an essay from Answers in Genesis, a fundamentalist Christian ministry that wants "young-Earth creationism" taught in public school science classes. Read more
TV preacher Pat Robertson is worried about a Muslim takeover of the United States.
Such a thing would seem remote, at best. While hard numbers are difficult to come by, most demographers say there are about 3 million Muslims in America. In a country of 300 million, they haven't made a huge dent.
But last year, the first Muslim was elected to Congress, and Muslims have been elected to a few state and local offices as well. Recently, a Muslim group announced plans to register more Muslims to vote and encourage civic activity. All of this has Robertson worried. Read more
Localities nationwide offer people all kinds of places to pray, such as public parks, sidewalks and, of course, plenty of houses of worship.
So why do so many local governmental officials feel compelled to use their public meetings for prayer? Often these prayer setups are simply used to suck up to constituents; in other cases, it's a matter of officials using their public offices to do a little bit of proselytizing for their personal faiths. Read more